Alliance Data Announces Resumption of Stock Repurchase Program

* Repurchase of up to $500 million authorized

* Comprehensive review of capital structure under way

May 07, 2008, 01:00 ET from Alliance Data

    DALLAS, May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliance Data Systems
 Corporation (NYSE:   ADS), a leading provider of transaction-based loyalty
 and marketing services, today announced that its board of directors has
 reinstituted the Company's stock repurchase program, authorizing the
 Company to buy back up to approximately $500 million of its outstanding
 common stock. The repurchase program was announced in October of 2006,
 extending repurchase programs announced in June and October of 2005 and
 authorizing a combined repurchase of up to $900 million of the Company's
 common stock through 2008. Approximately $500 million remains available
 under the repurchase program, which was suspended in May of 2007 as
 required by the merger agreement then in effect with affiliates of The
 Blackstone Group. The merger agreement was terminated on April 18, 2008.
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     Concurrent with the reinstitution of the repurchase program, the
 Company is undertaking a full review of its capital structure in order to
 determine, among other things, an appropriate level of leverage going
 forward. Decisions regarding capital structure are expected to be made over
 the next few months, and the Company's guidance will be adjusted as
     Ed Heffernan, Alliance Data's chief financial officer, said "Following
 the termination of the merger agreement, our focus has been on two items
 that we believe are critical for future success - liquidity and earnings
 visibility. Our recently completed financing arrangements give the Company
 record levels of liquidity, with approximately $2 billion in immediately
 available excess capacity. We currently expect that Alliance Data could
 secure an additional $1.5 - $2.0 billion in capacity while maintaining an
 investment grade profile by levering up from approximately 1x to 3x.
 Operating free cash flow plus cash from non-core asset dispositions would
 further add to this capacity."
     With respect to earnings visibility, notwithstanding the difficult
 macro- economic environment, the Company recently announced its 28th
 consecutive quarter of meeting or beating expectations. The Company expects
 this trend to continue as a result of earnings growth rate acceleration
 throughout the year.
     "With the Company's liquidity at record levels and a positive outlook
 for earnings, we are pleased to have the repurchase program back in place
 and are now reviewing the Company's capital structure in order to determine
 appropriate uses of cash, levels of leverage and other factors that will
 create value for our stockholders," continued Mr. Heffernan.
     The repurchase program authorizes the Company to purchase shares from
 time to time in open market purchases and in private transactions. Shares
 repurchased under the program will be held as treasury stock. The
 repurchase program's terms have been structured to comply with the SEC's
 Rule 10b-18 and are subject to market conditions, applicable legal and
 contractual requirements and other factors. The program does not obligate
 the Company to acquire any specific number of shares and may be suspended
 or terminated at any time.
     About Alliance Data
     Alliance Data (NYSE:   ADS) is a leading provider of marketing, loyalty
 and transaction services, managing over 120 million consumer relationships
 for some of North America's most recognizable companies. Using
 transaction-rich data, Alliance Data creates and manages customized
 solutions that change consumer behavior and that enable its clients to
 create and enhance customer loyalty to build stronger, mutually beneficial
 relationships with their customers. Headquartered in Dallas, Alliance Data
 employs over 9,000 associates at more than 60 locations worldwide. Alliance
 Data's brands include AIR MILES(R), North America's premier coalition
 loyalty program, and Epsilon(R), a leading provider of multi-channel,
 data-driven technologies and marketing services. For more information about
 the company, visit its website,
     Alliance Data's Safe Harbor Statement/Forward-Looking Statements
     This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning
 of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E
 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements may use
 words such as "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "intend,"
 "predict," "project" and similar expressions as they relate to us or our
 management. When we make forward-looking statements, we are basing them on
 our management's beliefs and assumptions, using information currently
 available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the
 forward-looking statements are reasonable, these forward-looking statements
 are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those
 discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
     If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or
 if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may
 vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements
 contained in this presentation reflect our current views with respect to
 future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and
 assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth
 strategy and liquidity. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions include
 those made with respect to and any developments related to the termination
 of the proposed merger with an affiliate of The Blackstone Group, including
 risks and uncertainties arising from actions that the parties to the merger
 agreement or third parties may take in connection therewith. We have no
 intention, and disclaim any obligation, to update or revise any
 forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
 results or otherwise.
     "Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform
 Act of 1995: Statements in this presentation regarding Alliance Data
 Systems Corporation's business which are not historical facts are
 "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a
 discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual
 results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements,
 see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most
 recently ended fiscal year. Risk factors may be updated in Item 1A in each
 of the Company's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for each quarterly period
 subsequent to the Company's most recent Form 10-K.

SOURCE Alliance Data