Air Miles International seals 7m deal for First Call ticket agency

Air Miles International, owner of the Loyalty Rewards programme currently being developed by Air Miles founders Keith Mills and Philip Beard, has bought ticket handling agency First Call for 7.35m.

The purchase of First Call, which sells tickets for a range of entertainments including pop concerts, top London shows and sporting events, will provide the platform for a new incentive programme to rival the Air Miles programme in the UK.

Air Miles International sold its share in Air Miles UK to British Airways in 1994. However, Mills and Beard are still principal shareholders in the international operation, which runs schemes in Canada, the Netherlands and Spain.

Companies, such as supermarket chains, which take on the Loyalty Rewards programme, would offer customers tickets for leisure events in return for points accumulated.

Beard says:”There are about 150 loyalty programmes in the UK but most do not add much real value for customers. We are looking to expand into the sports and leisure sector.”

Shares in First Call were purchased by a shell company, KanDo, set up by Air Miles International.

Beard is looking for further link-ups with sports and leisure companies to gain more access to cricket and rugby matches. First Call already runs the booking systems for football clubs such as Tottenham Hotspurs.

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