Palo Alto, CA – September 22, 2014
WCP Aelios announces it acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the shareholders of Welcome Real-time in its acquisition by Collinson Group. WCP Aelios is a Joint Venture between Aelios Finance (Paris, France) – the leading financial advisor for mid-cap French companies and Woodside Capital Partners (Palo Alto, CA, USA) a global, independent investment bank.
Welcome Real-time is an international provider of payment based loyalty solutions, headquartered in France and employs 70 specialists worldwide. Its award-winning technology supports over 100 million consumers globally enabling banks, card issuers and retailers to provide special offers, points redemption and other real-time communications to consumers at the point of sale.
Welcome Real-time was acquired by Collinson Group, a global leader in shaping customer behavior to drive revenue and add value to its clients. Collinson Group offers a unique blend of industry and sector specialists who together provide market-leading experience in delivering products and services across four core capabilities: Loyalty, Lifestyle Benefits, Insurance and Assistance. It also provides unrivalled insight and expertise around affluent consumers and frequent travellers, creating and delivering products and services that increase engagement, loyalty and value for customers. Collinson Group operates globally from 28 locations, servicing over 800 clients in 170 countries, employing 1,500 staff, and managing over 20 million end customers. Its clients are market leaders from across the globe including: MasterCard, VISA, Diners, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Air France KLM and InterContinental Hotels Group. Since inception, 25 years ago, Collinson Group has been an innovator by launching the first independent global VIP lounge access program, Priority Pass, being the first to sell direct travel insurance in the UK through Columbus Direct and having created the first global loyalty agency of its kind in the travel sector with ICLP.
The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Philippe David, CEO, Welcome Real-time commented: “We worked hand in hand with WCP Aelios from the beginning to the final conclusion of the process. We raised interest from the part of a large number of relevant strategic investors in Europe, North America and Latin America. Collinson Group quickly emerged as the preferred strategic investor. We are delighted to become part of the group and to be able to build on the opportunity that offers, with multiple synergies in several verticals.”
Frederic Kurkjian, Managing Director, WCP Aelios said: “There has been almost instantaneous match between Welcome Real-time’s front-running technology and Industry leading customer base on one hand and Collinson Group’s successful global businesses, its track record in loyalty-based consumer interactions, and its spirit of innovation on the other hand. There is a huge market demand from marketing-intensive industries such as airlines, financial services providers and others for systems that enable closer ties with their consumers. There is no doubt that Collinson Group combined with Welcome Real-time will be able to offer such solutions, based on real-time interactions at point-of-sales, in order to drive incremental revenue for their clients.”
Rudy Burger, Managing Partner of Woodside Capital Partners, said: “This is the first deal for our Joint Venture with Aelios Finance, just three months after it was officially kicked-off. Our combined efforts allowed Welcome Real-time to be on the radar of many prestigious global players. We are proud that Collinson Group made the successful offer to acquire the company and we strongly believe that the synergies identified between the two players will rapidly create value for Collinson Group as well as for their respective customer bases.”
Woodside Capital Partners
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