Aimia sells half its Card­lyt­ics stake for $60M

Quar­rel still on with largest share­holder

The Peterborough Examiner - - Business -

MON­TREAL — Aimia Inc. has sold roughly half of its in­vest­ment in Card­lyt­ics Inc. for about $59.8 mil­lion as the loy­alty re­wards com­pany tries to ac­crue more cash for bolt-on ac­qui­si­tions fol­low­ing the sale of its Aero­plan busi­ness.

The com­pany an­nounced Mon­day it sold 1.5 mil­lion shares for net pro­ceeds of roughly US$44.9 mil­lion.

Aimia still has 1.478 mil­lion shares in Card­lyt­ics.

Card­lyt­ics uses pur­chase data from fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to help banks and mar­keters. The At­lanta-based com­pany, whose stock hit new highs top­ping $34 this month, went pub­lic in Fe­bru­ary 2018 with an IPO price of $13.

Aimia said it will con­tinue to eval­u­ate its re­main­ing in­vest­ment in Card­lyt­ics against its strat­egy as a con­sol­ida­tor in the loy­alty and travel busi­ness as it charts a post-Aero­plan course.

The deal comes as Aimia con­tin­ues to quar­rel with its largest share­hold­ers.

The com­pany filed a state­ment of claim last month against Mit­tle­man Broth­ers LLC, ac­cus­ing the dis­si­dent in­vestor of vi­o­lat­ing a con­tracted truce, the lat­est move in a bat­tle over con­trol of the com­pany’s board of di­rec­tors.

Aimia said Mit­tle­man con­tin­ued to push for change at the com­pany through­out the truce and tried to or­ches­trate a covert cam­paign en­cour­ag­ing other share­hold­ers to with­hold their sup­port for Aimia’s nom­i­nees at the 2019 an­nual meet­ing.

Those board mem­bers backed a strat­egy to buy up loy­alty an­a­lyt­ics firms with the wind­fall from the sale of Aimia’s flag­ship Aero­plan pro­gram to Air Canada ear­lier this year.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Jeremy Rabe said this month that the com­pany is “in ac­tive dis­cus­sions with a num­ber of po­ten­tial com­pa­nies,” adding that it was too early to pre­dict whether any would re­sult in pur­chase deals.

Christo­pher Mit­tle­man, Mit­tle­man Broth­ers’ chief in­vest­ment of­fi­cer, has said the le­gal claims are base­less.

Aimia’s as­sets in­clude a 48.9 per cent stake in PLM, the loy­alty pro­gram for Aeromex­ico — which threat­ened to cut ties with Aimia last month — and a 20 per cent share of Ai­rA­sia’s loy­alty pro­gram, Think Big.

The com­pany con­tin­ues to face ques­tions about its fu­ture, as its two main loy­alty seg­ments lost $74.9 mil­lion in core ad­justed earn­ings last year.

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