Groupe Aeroplan to acquire Carlson Marketing

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Minneapolis—Groupe Aeroplan, a Montreal-based loyalty marketing company, Tuesday announced an agreement to acquire privately held Carlson Marketing for $175.3 million.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Carlson will continue to operate separately and independently, under the leadership of President-CEO Jeff Balagna.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and Canada, is expected to close early next month.

Groupe Aeroplan cited Carlson’s global presence in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East as a key factor in its decision to acquire the agency. Carlson has large regional offices in Toronto, London and Sydney.

“This acquisition is a logical extension for our company, as we diversify our business model to include a broader range of services within the loyalty management space in the U.S. and internationally,” said Rupert Duchesne, president-CEO of Groupe Aeroplan, in a statement. “Acquiring a proven leader in the loyalty marketing space is the most cost-effective and timeliest route to broadening our loyalty services offering. Carlson Marketing is widely recognized for their innovative thinking when it comes to understanding consumer behavior, rewards and data analytics, areas that are pivotal to driving future growth in the global loyalty arena.”

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