Focused on the Long-Term Market Opportunity, Aimia and Points.com Make Minority Co-Investment in China Rewards, a New Loyalty Program Partnered with China Union Pay
TORONTO, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) and Points International Ltd. (TSX: PTS; NASDAQ: PCOM), owner and operator of the loyalty commerce platform www.Points.com, have entered into a binding agreement to make a minority investment in China Rewards, a Shanghai based retail coalition loyalty program start-up. Under the terms of the agreement, Aimia and Points.com will each be investing up to US$5 million upon achievement of certain performance milestones and subject to regulatory approvals.
"Entering what is soon to be the world's largest economy has been a strategic growth imperative for Aimia," commented Rupert Duchesne, Aimia's Group Chief Executive, "As part of our stringent due diligence we have evaluated the key points of entry into China, seeking the right caliber of partner as well as a high return investment with minimal risk- China Rewards fit all of the criteria."
A key element of the China Rewards program is a long-term agreement with anchor partner, China Union Pay, one of the world's largest network operators.Points' CEO Rob MacLean said "The Chinese loyalty industry is still in its early stages and we are excited to be involved in China Rewards. This strategic relationship will offer an immediate and credible presence and allow us to more quickly and efficiently establish our business in the important and rapidly growing Chinese market." Mr. MacLean added " China Union Pay has unprecedented scale in the Chinese retail industry with a rapidly growing international reach. The ability to leverage this infrastructure and brand to quickly build a large, national loyalty program is a unique and remarkable opportunity." China Rewards CEO, Cindy Wu has been doing business in China for more than 20 years and is a veteran of the retail loyalty industry. "We are very excited to be partnering with global leaders, Aimia and Points.com. Their experience in the loyalty space is a valuable and important part of China Rewards' growth plans," said Ms. Wu. In connection with this transaction, CIBC acted as financial advisor.