Waterloo Region Record

Aimia sells half its Cardlytics stake for $60M

Quarrel still on with largest shareholde­r


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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