Groupe Aeroplan to buy Carlson marketing

Groupe Aeroplan, the Canadian loyalty management company that owns the Nectar programme, has acquired Carlson Marketing, the US loyalty marketing company.

The $175,3m deal will include transaction costs of $6.5m and Groupe Aeroplan expects to incur one-off costs of $15m.

The deal is subject to anti-trust approval in the US and Canada. It is expected to finalise in December 2009.

Carlson Marketing is owned by US-based Carlson Companies, a restaurant and hotel business, which owns the Radisson hotel brand and T.G.I Friday restaurant chain.

Groupe Aeroplan also owns LMG Insight & Communications (I&C), which provides retail and communication data analysis to Sainsbury’s and more than 100 fmcg manufacturers.

Robert Duchesne, president and CEO of Groupe Aeroplan says the acquisition is a “logical extension” of the company’s diversification and international expansion plans, and will particularly boost I&C’s US expansion.

Carlson Marketing has clients in financial services, automotive, consumer goods, pharmaceutical and high tech sectors and a presence in the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

The two businesses will “benefit from leveraging intellectual capital” but will continue to operate independently. Current president and CEO Jeff Balagna will continue to lead Carlson Marketing.
In March, Groupe Aeroplan appointed Jan-Pieter Lips as managing director of the business, replacing Brian Sinclair who returned to Canada in an executive position with Groupe Aeroplan.

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