STAMFORD, Conn., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Affinion Group, Inc. ("Affinion" or the "Company"), a global leader in customer engagement solutions that enhance and extend the relationship and loyalty of millions of consumers of financial service, retail, hospitality and e-commerce companies, announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions ("Connexions"). Connexions is a division of Travel Leaders Group, LLC, and is well known for providing leisure travel booking services as well as being a technology innovator in the administration of loyalty rewards programs.
The all-cash transaction, valued at approximately $135 million before certain purchase price adjustments, is subject to the receipt of standard regulatory approvals and is expected to close during the summer of 2010. It is anticipated that the Connexions' management team and associates will continue to work with the combined company.
Connexions provides its clients with a fully customizable, online platform for the redemption of loyalty points. With this platform, consumers who hold loyalty rewards points log-on to a client-branded website to book reservations across all categories of travel services, including air, hotel, car rentals, local attractions and cruises. The Connexions' proprietary platform also incorporates easy-to-use tools for the searching and booking of reservations, and also accommodates the use of points, cash, or a combination of both for payment.
The platform can also be offered to non-loyalty clients under a white-label format to incorporate secondary travel products into standalone websites, thereby integrating the purchase of hotel and car reservations, for instance, into the purchase of airline tickets and providing a competitive alternative to existing bundled-package websites.
As a leading global provider of comprehensive customer engagement and loyalty solutions, Affinion's diverse portfolio of programs and solutions are designed to strengthen the relationship between companies and their customers. Through its experience managing rewards and travel programs for a wide-range of companies, the Company has found that improved redemption experiences for consumers tend to increase the usage of both the points and the program, which in turn increases consumers' perceived value of the rewards and deepens their relationship with the program provider as they look to maximize their usage of the program and accumulate more rewards points.
"The acquisition of Connexions aligns very well with our strategy, as their products are a natural extension of our abilities in the management of points programs and improves our positioning in the very competitive travel reservations market," said Nathaniel J. Lipman, Affinion's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Although this acquisition upgrades both the technology and functionality of our loyalty and travel services, we also expect to benefit by adding a highly experienced team of travel and loyalty professionals who bring extensive knowledge and critical relationships to the table as well."
"With Connexions' services platform and Affinion's extensive relationships with leading companies in financial services and retailing, the prospects for a combined effort in improved and expanded points redemption and travel services can benefit millions of consumers," said Michael Batt, Chairman of Travel Leaders.
Affinion expects to finance the transaction with available cash on hand, and the acquisition is expected to be approximately leverage-neutral to the Company.
About Affinion Group, Inc.
As a global leader with more than 35 years of experience, Affinion Group enhances the value of its partners' customer relationships by developing and marketing loyalty solutions. Leveraging its expertise in customer engagement, product development and targeted marketing, Affinion provides programs in subscription-based lifestyle services, personal protection, insurance and other areas to help generate increased customer loyalty and significant incremental revenue for more than 5,500 marketing partners worldwide, including many of the largest and most respected companies in financial services, retail, travel, and Internet commerce. Based in Stamford, CT, the company has approximately 3,600 employees throughout the United States and in 12 other countries, primarily in Europe, and markets in 15 countries globally. Affinion holds the prestigious ISO 27001 certification for the highest information security practices, is PCI compliant and Cybertrust certified. For more information, visit www.affinion.com.
About Connexions® Loyalty Travel Solutions
Connexions Loyalty Travel Solutions is the largest U.S. based provider of travel solutions for loyalty programs; we have strong support from travel industry suppliers, large economies of scale, and a focus on quality service delivery. As part of a $6 billion travel sales organization, we leverage the knowledge, supply, and technologies developed for multiple verticals. COPC certified and supported by six sigma process management to create market leading solutions for our clients. Solutions include unique travel products, creative redemption solutions, multi-point bank connectivity. From Graham Leach Bliley to PCI certification we safely manage your security needs at our contact centers, and market leading online travel redemption solutions.
Safe Harbor Statement Under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
This press release may contain statements that are forward looking, as that term is defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 or by the Securities and Exchange Commission in its rules, regulations and releases. These statements include, but are not limited to, discussions regarding industry outlook, Affinion's expectations regarding the performance of its business, its liquidity and capital resources, its guidance for 2010, the consummation of the acquisition of Connexions and the impact to Affinion's business and the other non-historical statements in the discussion and analysis. These statements can be identified by the use of words such as "believes" "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "continues," "estimates," "predicts," "projects," "forecasts," and similar expressions. All forward-looking statements are based on management's current expectations and beliefs only as of the date of this press release and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to, risks related to general economic and business conditions and international and geopolitical events, a downturn in the credit card industry or changes in the techniques of credit card issuers, industry trends, foreign currency exchange rates, the effects of a decline in travel on the Company's travel fulfillment business, termination or expiration of one or more agreements with its marketing partners or a reduction of the marketing of its services by one or more of its marketing partners, the Company's substantial leverage, restrictions contained in its debt agreements, its inability to compete effectively, and other risks identified and discussed from time to time in Affinion's reports filed with the SEC, including Affinion's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. Readers are strongly encouraged to review carefully the full cautionary statements described in these reports. Except as required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events or circumstances.
SOURCE Affinion Group, Inc.