An Air Canada-led consortium has signed a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire Aimia Canada, which operates the Aeroplan loyalty programme, in an all-cash transaction worth $450m.
Apart from Air Canada, the consortium includes Visa Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
Under the agreement, Air Canada will assume the liability of $1.9bn of Aeroplan miles.
Air Canada will also take over the assets and employees, $50m of negative working capital, and $45m of retirement and other benefit obligations of the acquired entity.
At the same time, Air Canada inked credit card loyalty programme and network agreements with TD Bank, CIBC and Visa.
These agreements are aimed at supporting the participation of TD Bank, CIBC and Visa in the new Aeroplan programme that Air Canada plans to launch in 2020. All these agreements are subject to completion of the Aimia Canada takeover.
Besides, Air Canada is in talks with American Express for its participation in the Aeroplan programme after 2020. American Express is the issuer of Aeroplan co-branded products.
Air Canada president and CEO Calin Rovinescu said: “We are extremely pleased to have concluded the agreement for the purchase of Aimia Canada and to have reached definitive agreements on our co-branded credit card programs with each of TD and CIBC.
“Subject to closing the purchase transaction, these agreements will produce the best outcome for our customers as well as those of our partners as they will facilitate a smooth transition to our new loyalty program launching in 2020, safeguarding all Aeroplan Miles and providing convenience and value for millions of Canadians.”
The deal already secured the go-ahead from the Aimia board and is now subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.
The consortium initially agreed to buy the Aeroplan loyalty programme for $250m in cash and later raised the amount to $450m.