CIBC, TD extend talks to split Aeroplan card portfolio

Mon Aug 26, 2013 12:51pm EDT
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By Cameron French

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO: Quote) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD.TO: Quote) have extended talks on a deal for CIBC to retain about half of its Aeroplan credit card portfolio, with TD getting the rest.

The two banks, Canada's top two credit card issuers, had set Monday as a deadline to hammer out a deal with Aeroplan program owner Aimia Inc (AIM.TO: Quote) for the two splitting the portfolio essentially down the middle.

Earlier this year, TD, Canada's No. 2 bank in terms of assets and market capitalization, replaced CIBC as the issuer of the popular flight rewards card. CIBC, Canada's No. 5 bank, had been the main issuer for more than 20 years, but failed to reach agreement with Aimia to extend their partnership, which expires on December 31.

In June, TD swooped in to make a deal with Aimia to replace CIBC, but the banks said earlier this month they were working on a compromise to split the portfolio down the middle.

CIBC would retain its card customers that have other products with the bank, while TD would acquire the remainder.

"The parties will make an announcement when an agreement has been reached or when the discussions have concluded without an agreement," TD said on Monday.

Customers who use the Aeroplan card can accumulate points to travel on Air Canada ACb.TO and its partner airlines, or buy goods.

Analysts estimate the card produces more than 10 percent of CIBC's profits.   Continued...