Tuesday, August 21, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Air Canada along with TD, CIBC and Visa reach a deal to purchase Aeroplan

It appears the Aeroplan Air Canada saga may have come to a close today! It has just been announced that the consortium of Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa have reached a deal to purchase Aeroplan from its parent company Aimia. It appears that Aeroplan's posturing and Aimia'svaluation of $450 million has been met by the consortium. It is still subject to negotiation which really should only be for ironing out some minor details. I would have to say everyone can relax, take a breather and be happy you won't have to rush out and use up your miles...... although we still don't have details of the new program come 2020 that Aeroplan will be rolled into. Here's to crossing our fingers that Air Canada doesn't mess it up hugely. Oh and seeing that TD, CIBC and Visa are part owners there is a good chance that American Express will be out as a partner.

Here is the main body of the press release that came out about an hour ago:

  • Purchase price consists of $450 million in cash and the assumption of approximately $1.9 billion of Aeroplan Miles liability 
  • Agreement in principle was unanimously approved by Aimia's Board of Directors and is supported by Mittleman Brothers 
  • Transaction would provide value for Aimia and its shareholders and continuity for Aeroplan members and customers of Air Canada, TD, CIBC and Visa
  • Transaction subject to negotiation of definitive agreements and other conditions; completion expected fall 2018
TORONTO, Aug. 21, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada, The Toronto-Dominion Bank ("TD"), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ("CIBC"), Visa Canada Corporation ("Visa") (collectively, "the Consortium") and Aimia Inc. ("Aimia") announced today that they have entered into an agreement in principle for the acquisition of Aimia's Aeroplan loyalty business.

"We are pleased to see that an agreement in principle has been reached as Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem with confidence. This transaction, if completed, should produce the best outcome for all stakeholders, including Aeroplan Members, as it would allow for a smooth transition to Air Canada's new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding their miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians," said Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada, on behalf of the consortium. 

The transaction is expected to deliver significant value to Aimia's stakeholders and the agreement in principle was approved unanimously by Aimia's Board of Directors upon recommendation by its Special Committee of independent directors.  Mittleman Brothers, LLC, Aimia's largest shareholder who owns approximately 17.6% of Aimia's common shares, has provided a lock-up and support agreement under which it has agreed to vote in favour of the proposed transaction.

The aggregate purchase price consists of $450 million in cash and is on a cash-free, debt-free basis and includes the assumption of approximately $1.9 billion of Aeroplan Miles liability. 

The transaction is subject to the satisfactory conclusion of definitive transaction documents, Aimia shareholder approval, and certain other conditions, including due diligence, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and completion by the Consortium of credit card loyalty program and network agreements for future participation in Air Canada's new loyalty program.

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