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Private equity firm Peepul Capital has partnered with Europe’s largest loyalty programme player Payback Gmbh to buy a majority stake in India's largest loyalty card provider i-mint. The deal gives ICICI Venture, founding investor in i-mint who held a majority stake, an

exit. The private equity arm of ICICI Bank continues to be a minority shareholder in i-Mint. The transaction details were not disclosed.

The deal would allow Loyalty Solutions and Research Ltd, which operates under i-mint brand, access to Payback’s industry leading IT tools to bring advanced data mining solutions to India. Vijay Bobba, i-mint’s founding CEO, who continues in his role.

“Fusing PAYBACK’s international expertise with i-mint’s local know-how and pan-India market presence brings cutting edge new services to Indian shoppers and retailers”, says Payback founder Alexander Rittweger. “We are a strategic investor focussed on the long-term. Together with i-mint, we are building a world class customer retention and direct marketing platform to support the retail revolution sweeping India.”

i-Mint has a portfolio of around 1,500 business partners which include ICICI Bank, service station chain HPCL, Air India, textile group Welspun and Music World. Sales made using i-mint cards totalled EUR 2.1 billion in 2009 and it currently has over 9.5 million members,

said a release.

“India’s booming consumer market provides tremendous opportunities for i-mint’s enhanced multi-partner loyalty programme. In addition, the rapid rise of organized retail increases the value of customer retention significantly”, explains Ms. Vishakha Mulye, Managing Director and CEO of ICICI Venture. i-mint’s founding investor continues to hold a minority stake in the company.

 

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