Affinion buys Italian loyalty firm

Affinion Group, a CRM and loyalty services company, today acquired an Italian marketing services group from an Italian financial services company. Affinion didn't release the name of the acquired company, but the acquisition strengthens Affinion's international presence, which includes 12 countries outside the US, mostly in Europe, according to Julie Gottlieb, SVP investor relations and corporate communications.

“When looking at acquisitions, we don't look to do transformative deals – we try to do complementary deals,” she said. “The acquired company's program is a variation on our theme, but catered to the Italian market and slightly different than the programs we've built in other markets.”

The acquired company manages a luxury-goods purchasing program for the financial institution in Italy. Members of the financial firm receive discounted items.

"One of our tools is membership programs – where cosumers are benefitting from particiappin in tailored deal as result of membership in the program itself," she Gottlieb added. "The Italian instituation has built up a purchase program years ago, which is similar to what Affinity has done here. The program really strengthens the bond the consumer has with financial institution."

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