A group led by Air Canada agreed to buy Aimia Inc.’s Aeroplan for C$450 million ($345 million) in cash, ending a takeover battle for one of Canada’s most popular loyalty programs.
Air Canada and its banking partners sweetened their bid for Aeroplan, winning over Aimia’s board and an activist shareholder that was seeking a higher price. Air Canada initially made a C$250 million unsolicited offer, and later boosted that to C$325 million. Air Canada and its backers will also assume C$1.9 billion of Aeroplan Miles liabilities, the companies said in a statement Tuesday.
“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 chief executive officer of Montreal-based Air Canada.
Earlier this month, Aimia rejected the Air Canada-led group’s bid for the loyalty program, asking for C$450 million and revised terms. Mittleman Brothers LLC, which owns about 17.6 percent of the shares, argued the program was worth more than $1 billion based on its estimates. A representative for Mittleman wasn’t immediately available for comment.
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