LMG takes controlling interest in Air Miles ME
Aeroplan's newly acquired subsidiary Loyalty Management Group (LMG) - the owner and operator of the UK's Nectar coalition loyalty programme - has announced LMG's first international acquisition, in the form of an increased stake in the Air Miles Middle East operator, Rewards Management Middle East Limited (RMMEL).
LMG already owned 20% of RMMEL, but this latest purchase involves an additional participation of 40% in RMMEL (which operates Air Miles in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain), for a purchase price of AED40 million (approx. £5.3 million). As a result of this transaction, LMG will own 60% of RMMEL - a controlling interest.
RMMEL was founded in 2000 by LMG, HSBC and Al-Seer (owner of the Spinney's supermarket chain in Dubai) as shareholders, in order to launch an Air Miles-branded retail coalition loyalty programme in the region. LMG has now acquired the 40% ownership held by Al-Seer.
The remaining 40% of RMMEL will continue to be held by HSBC. RMMEL also operates the 'My Reward' points programme for HSBC in Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Lebanon.
As part of the transaction, both HSBC and Al-Seer, who are participants in the Air Miles programme in the region, have renewed long-term contracts. Current RMMEL management and day-to-day operations will remain unaffected.
LMG's CEO, Alex Moorhead, commented: "LMG looks forward to continuing its relationship with HSBC and working more closely with the RMMEL management team to consolidate its loyalty leadership position in this fast growing region."
Rupert Duchesne, president and CEO for Aeroplan, added that this purchase is a good example of the company's international strategy to become a global leader in the management of loyalty programmes. The Air Miles Middle East programme is currently receiving over 15,000 new membership applications each month.