Online Loyalty Scheme Ipoints Buys Rival Web Rewards

06 June 2001

British online loyalty scheme service Ipoints has acquired Web Rewards, the UK arm of its Bertelsmann-funded rival Webmiles.

Payment is wholly in shares, with 15% of the suitor’s equity changing hands in return for Web Rewards’ 140,000-strong customer base and retail partnerships. Ipoints will run its new acquisition alongside its own service until the two can be integrated at some point in the future.

Ipoints – which has 520,000 registered customers – said that the purchase will bring forward its predicted break-even to the autumn. Comparing Ipoints to failed rivals such as Surfmiles (whose debts and customer base Ipoints is also acquiring) and Beenz, chief executive Aaron O’Sullivan commented: “The difference … is that we never lost our head. We never spent millions on technology or marketing and we never left the UK.”

News source: Financial Times