Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s revelation that Air Miles’s parent company Loyalty Ventures is set to file for bankruptcy protection, BMO has now announced a deal to acquire the Air Miles loyalty program from Loyalty Ventures.
The two entities have signed a purchase agreement for Canada’s largest loyalty program, although the deal is subject to court approval and the completion of regulatory processes.
Let’s talk about what this all means.
BMO to Acquire Air Miles
BMO was the founding financial partner of Air Miles upon the program’s launch in 1992, and has stuck by Air Miles’s side through thick and thin even as the loyalty program has hemorrhaged partnerships left and right in recent years.
With Air Miles’s parent company, Loyalty Ventures, facing an uncertain financial future, BMO would’ve very much been a sensible option as a potential suitor to step in and rescue the Air Miles loyalty business by acquiring it at a discount.
BMO’s acquisition of Air Miles goes a long way towards safeguarding the Air Miles balances that collectors have worked hard to earn over the years.
With this deal in place, Air Miles collectors can largely be assured that the loyalty program will remain a going concern, and that they’ll continue to be able to redeem Air Miles as normal for the foreseeable future.
This deal has been agreed as part of Loyalty Ventures’s now-formalized bankruptcy proceedings, which will also involve a solicitation process to solicit any other interest in the Air Miles business by other parties.
While BMO and Air Miles have stricken up a deal as of now, additional interest by other parties could yet provide additional intrigue the coming months.
What Would a BMO-Owned Air Miles Look Like?
BMO’s agreement to acquire Air Miles and thereby safeguard the future of the Air Miles program, including Air Miles collectors’ rewards balances, is no doubt very positive news.
Nevertheless, if this deal were to go through, it’s interesting to ponder what an Air Miles program under BMO’s ownership would look like in the future, and whether BMO would truly be able to reverse the downward spiral that has beleaguered Air Miles in recent times.
On one hand, BMO’s acquisition of Air Miles represents the further solidification of a union between what’s quite possibly two of the weakest links in Canada’s banking and loyalty industries.
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