LMG acquires controlling interest in Middle East Air Miles programme
MONTREAL, Canada and LONDON, UK, Jan. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - Aeroplan Income
Fund (Aeroplan) (TSX: AER.UN) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Loyalty
Management Group (LMG), owner and operator of Nectar, today announced LMG's
first international acquisition transaction by increasing its stake in Rewards
Management Middle East Limited (RMMEL).
    LMG has purchased an additional participation of 40% in RMMEL, the
operator of Air Miles programmes in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, for a purchase
price of AED40 million ((pnds stlg)5.3 million), which values RMMEL at
AED100 million ((pnds stlg)13.3 million). As a result of this transaction, LMG
will own 60% of RMMEL.
    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
acquired the 40 percent ownership held by Al-Seer, increasing LMG's total
participation to 60 percent. The remaining 40 percent will continue to be held
by HSBC. 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
    LMG CEO Alex Moorhead said: "LMG looks forward to continuing its strong
relationship with HSBC and working more closely with the RMMEL Management team
to consolidate its loyalty leadership position in this fast growing region."
    "It is a perfect example of executing our international strategy to
become the global leader in the management of loyalty programmes," added
Rupert Duchesne, President and CEO of Aeroplan.
    The Air Miles Middle East programme is currently receiving over
15,000 new membership applications per month. RMMEL also operates the 'my
reward' points schemes for HSBC in Egypt, Jordan, Oman and Lebanon. Current
RMMEL management and day-to-day operations will remain unaffected.

    About Aeroplan Income Fund

    Aeroplan Income Fund is an unincorporated, open-ended trust established
under the laws of the Province of Ontario. Aeroplan Income Fund is the owner
of Aeroplan Limited Partnership, Canada's premier loyalty marketing company
and operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program and Loyalty Management Group
Limited, operator of Nectar, the United Kingdom's largest customer reward

    For more information about Aeroplan, please visit www.aeroplan.com

    About LMG

    LMG is based in the United Kingdom and develops, owns and manages large
retail-based customer reward programs and provides customer data driven
marketing services to retailers, FMCGs and service providers worldwide. The
group owns and operates the Nectar brand, the United Kingdom's largest
customer reward program, and also owns the Air Miles trademark around the
world. It employs approximately 200 staff at its HQ in London and has
operations in Newcastle, England and Mumbai, India.

    For more information about LMG, please visit www.loyalty.co.uk.
    %SEDAR: 00022208EF
For further information: Media: LMG: Megan Ratcliffe, +44 020 7152 4881, m.ratcliffe@loyalty.co.uk; Rowena Denham, +44 020 7544 3014, rowena.denham@fishburn-hedges.co.uk; Russell Saunders, +44 020 7544 3025, russell.saunders@fishburn-hedges.co.uk; Aeroplan: Michèle Meier, (514) 205-7028, michele.meier@aeroplan.com; Analysts: Aeroplan, Trish Moran, (416) 352-3728, trish.moran@aeroplan.com