American Express to acquire Loyalty Partner

MUMBAI: In a $660 million deal, American Express Company is acquiring Loyalty Partner, a Munich-based marketing services company known for its loyalty programmes in Germany, Poland and India.

The deal is part of the U.S. credit-card issuer‘s drive to build and diversify its fee service revenues and grow internationally. It will add more than 34 million consumers and expand the company‘s range of rewards and loyalty marketing services. 
Said American Express vice chairman Ed Gilligan, "The loyalty coalition model is growing rapidly in many parts of the world. Increasingly, consumer decisions about where to shop and how to pay are based on loyalty offerings, and Loyalty Partner is a premier player in this space."
The agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011 and consists of an upfront cash purchase price of $566 million and an additional $94 million equity interest that will be held by Loyalty Partner‘s management. American Express will acquire that interest over the next five years at a value-based on business performance.

Averred Loyalty Partner founder and chief executive officer Alexander Rittweger, "Loyalty Partner has a ten year history of success and continuous, impressive growth. Joining American Express helps us to accelerate further our expansion into new, international markets and will allow us to drive even greater value to consumers and help our coalition partners grow their businesses."
Loyalty Partner will become a subsidiary of Amex and will be part of the company‘s International Consumer and Small Business Services group, led by its president, Douglas Buckminster. Alexander Rittweger will continue as chief executive officer of Loyalty Partner.

UBS Investment Bank acted as sole financial advisor and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen and Hamilton LLP acted as legal advisor to American Express.

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