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by Leo Jakobson | August 28, 2012
Aimia, one of the largest incentive and loyalty management firms in the U.S., announced today that it has reached an agreement to purchase another large performance improvement and loyalty firm, Dayton, OH-based Excellence in Motivation. 

Aimia was formed last year, in the wake of the 2009 purchase of Minneapolis-based Carlson Marketing by Groupe Aeroplan, headquartered in Montreal, Canada. 

Speaking exclusively to Incentive on Tuesday, Fay Beauchine, president, business loyalty, U.S., of Aimia, said the $28 million purchase of privately held Excellence in Motivation (EIM) is intended to “strengthen our position as a full-suite loyalty provider, meaning we work with the consumer, we work with the channel, and we work with the employee. We know that’s a differentiator for us. If you’re going to keep customers loyal to a brand, you have to do it through all touch points, meaning directly to the consumer, through your partners in your channels, and also with your employees directly.”

Founded in 1993, EIM has over 200 employees based in offices across the U.S., notably in Dayton and Los Angeles. EIM’s Dayton’s offices will remain open as part of Aimia’s US operations, and the company will immediately begin to make the full suite of Aimia and EIM services available to each others clients.

The purchase is “a big part of Aimia’s global growth strategy,” Beauchine said. “We’re growing everywhere, in many parts of the globe, and in the U.S. this is a significant growth initiative for us, to grow our B2B and B2E competencies. They’re very big today, but this brings more clients that are complementary and strengthens our presence in the vertical markets, particularly automotive, health care/pharma, and high tech and telecommunications.”

“[EIM has] clients that complement those verticals,” Beauchine continued. “So we have a very nice, strong roster. And in the market, I have a belief that one plus one equals three. For example, we’ll have seven of the 10 strongest auto companies by sales in the U.S. in our roster.”

EIM’s clients “will benefit from an expanded full suite of loyalty solution capabilities and increased sector-specific loyalty marketing expertise,” said EIM President and CEO, Bob Miller, in a statement. “We can also leverage Aimia’s global footprint and capabilities to help our clients execute on a global scale. Together, Aimia and EIM will enable our corporate clients to engage employees, energize channels, and ultimately build loyalty among customers.”

The companies expect the deal to close in September, and integration to be completed within 12 months. Aimia has said in the past that it plans to grow its U.S. loyalty and performance improvement business aggressively, both by purchases and organically. 

“EIM is a great addition to the Aimia family as we continue to look for opportunities to increase our presence in the U.S. market,” said Rupert Duchesne, Group Chief Executive of Aimia (pictured), in a statement. “The acquisition complements our business loyalty division in the U.S. and offers opportunities for organizational growth and increased market share.”

Updated at 7:15 pm