Warburg Pincus Completes 25 Million Pound Investment Commitment To Finance Loyalty Management UK

Jul 02, 2002, 01:00 ET from Warburg Pincus

    LONDON, July 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Following news that four of the UK's
 leading retail brands are joining forces to launch a new consumer loyalty
 program, Loyalty Management UK (LMUK) announced that it has secured a
 commitment of 25 million pounds in equity financing from Warburg Pincus, one
 of the leading global private equity firms.
     LMUK will launch and operate Nectar, which brings together Sainsbury's,
 Barclaycard, BP, and Debenhams to form the UK's largest and most comprehensive
 customer loyalty program, which is expected to sign up over 50 percent of all
 UK households following its autumn 2002 launch.
     "We intend to transform the loyalty landscape in the UK by developing the
 first fully integrated loyalty program that makes points collection and
 redemption easier for consumers by bringing together several established
 rewards programs and four of the leading national retailers," said Rob
 Gierkink, Chief Executive Officer of LMUK.  "We are delighted to partner with
 Warburg Pincus and its support enables us to put in place the financial
 foundation for the successful launch and development of LMUK," he added.
     Nectar will target the more than 12 million consumers who are members of
 points and rewards programs currently operated by Sainsbury's, BP, Barclaycard
 and Debenhams.  Nectar offers consumers the ability to collect points from
 more than 1,800 Sainsbury's, Debenhams and BP outlets and with all Barclaycard
 purchases.  Points collected in the Nectar program will be exchangeable for a
 wide range of rewards like grocery discounts, consumer goods, flights,
 holidays, restaurant meals, family days out and cinema tickets.
     "LMUK's management team has a unique and distinguished track record of
 building and operating coalition loyalty schemes in a variety of markets
 including the UK," said Joseph Schull, a Warburg Pincus Managing Director.
 "This is an opportunity to back an outstanding management team and build a
 durable business in a market that is ripe for consolidation.  In evaluating
 this investment opportunity we have been very impressed with the vision of the
 four launch Sponsors and with their commitment to making Nectar the UK's most
 successful loyalty program.  This investment also builds upon our experience
 and track record of investing in business information and marketing services
 companies worldwide over the last three decades."
     The investment in LMUK is being made jointly by two funds, Warburg Pincus
 International Partners, L.P. a USD $2.5 billion fund, and Warburg Pincus
 Private Equity VIII, L.P. a USD $5.3 billion global fund that closed in
 April 2002.
     Note to Editors:
     Warburg Pincus
     Warburg Pincus is one of the largest private equity investment firms in
 the world.  Working in partnership with management teams, Warburg Pincus has
 taken an active role in building businesses, including companies such as
 Mattel Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Inc., Dime Bancorp, Inc., Mellon Bank
 Corporation, Knoll, Inc., Aegis Group plc, Information Holdings, ADVO, Calyx,
 Channel 5 Broadcasting Ltd, BEA Systems and VERITAS Software Corp.  Throughout
 its 30-year history in private equity, Warburg Pincus has invested at all
 stages of a company's life cycle, from founding start-ups and providing growth
 capital to leading restructurings, recapitalizations and buy-outs.  Since
 1971, Warburg Pincus has invested more than $12 billion in 450 companies in
 29 countries.  The firm currently has $10 billion under management, with an
 additional $7.5 billion available for investment.  Further information is
 available at http://www.warburgpincus.com.
     LMUK has been established by Loyalty Management International (LMI)
 specifically to launch and operate Nectar.  LMUK is Chaired by Air Miles
 founder Keith Mills and its management team has more than 100 years'
 experience in implementing and running large multi-company customer loyalty
 programs.  LMI has previously initiated companies that have been operating
 loyalty programs in numerous markets for a total of 35 years.
     Nectar will be a new coalition reward program and will be
 launched in the UK in the fall.  Nectar has brought together leading UK
 retailers -- Sainsbury's, BP, Debenhams and Barclaycard to offer UK consumers
 a superior loyalty program that truly rewards customers on everyday purchases.
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SOURCE Warburg Pincus