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November 3, 2009

Major acquisition forms global loyalty management and events giant

A international loyalty management corporation headquartered in Canada, Groupe Aeroplan, has bought Carlson Marketing, also a leading provider of loyalty management services, along with engagement and events management, for $175 million.

The result is the world’s largest loyalty management provider.

Carlson Marketing's solid US presence secures an important footprint for Groupe Aeroplan in the largest consumer market in the world. Moreover, the transaction provides Groupe Aeroplan with immediate geographic diversification, and accelerates the company's international expansion strategy into the G20 countries.

Carlson Marketing has strong relationships with some of the world's most respected brands in important sectors, including financial services, automotive, high tech, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical.  The company has a truly global with a presence in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, and over the last 18 months has successfully positioned itself for growth.

"This acquisition is a logical extension for our company, as we diversify our business model to include a broader range of services within the loyalty management space in the US and internationally," said Rupert Duchesne, president and chief executive of Groupe Aeroplan.

"Acquiring a proven leader in the loyalty marketing space is the most cost effective and timeliest route to broadening our loyalty services offering.  Carlson Marketing is widely recognised for its innovative thinking, when it comes to understanding consumer behaviour, rewards and data analytics – areas that are pivotal to driving future growth in the global loyalty arena."

Groupe Aeroplan's businesses and Carlson Marketing will continue to operate separately and independently. Meanwhile, Carlson’s president and chief executive Jeff Balagna will remain at the helm.

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