Air Canada Ready to Unload Aeroplan

Air Canada Ready to Unload Aeroplan

Air Canada is on the fast track to sell off its Aeroplan customer loyalty program, the chief executive officer of the airline’s parent company recently told the Canadian Press (and we’ve reported several months prior).

“Valuations have moved up appreciably, clearly we think it (Aeroplan) is in a position to go to the public markets,” Robert Milton, head of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., said after a speech to a Montreal business audience.

He said the company is tackling legal and regulatory issues to prepare the sale or partial sale of the wholly owned subsidiary, which some analysts say is worth $2-billion.

“We remain on a fast track with the view that there is validity to the argument that it should be monetized, at least in part,” Milton said.

“We think the value is there, the interest is there, so we’re proceeding on that basis.”

Milton also said Onex Corp., the buyout firm controlled by Gerald Schwartz, is no longer in the running to buy the Aeroplan program. In 2003, Onex agreed to buy a 35-per-cent stake in Aeroplan for $245-million before Air Canada filed for protection from creditors.

In his speech, Milton bragged that the stock market value of ACE Holdings is higher than any North American airline with the exception of Southwest Airlines.

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