The global payments market is getting increasingly competitive for card networks with global ambitions including not just the top international card networks (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express) but also relatively newer or smaller players such as CUP, JCB, Discover/Diners Club, and BC Cards, among others. American Express just took a non-traditional way to expand its cardholder base by acquiring Loyalty Partner, a loyalty solution provider that brings merchants together to fund coalition loyalty programs in Germany, Poland, and India.
According to the PR, Loyalty Partner will become a subsidiary of American Express 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.
American Express Company today announced it will acquire Loyalty Partner, a leading marketing services company best known for the loyalty program it operates in Germany, Poland and India. Loyalty Partner also provides market analysis, operating platforms and consulting services that help merchants grow their businesses.
The acquisition will deepen American Express’ merchant relationships in select international markets, add more than 34 million consumers to the company’s international customer base and expand its range of rewards and loyalty marketing services.
The purchase, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. The transaction, which values the company at €496 (US $660) million, consists of an upfront cash purchase price of €425 (US $566) million and an additional €71 (US $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.