Etihad Airways announced the purchase of a majority stake in a new entity incorporated to own airberlin’s topbonus frequent flyer program, the first step in the establishment of a global loyalty management platform.

The new entity will seek to offer new opportunities for topbonus members to collect and redeem topbonus miles around the world, including the ability to use PointsPayTM to convert miles into cash payments at more than 30 million outlets worldwide.

Etihad Airways has taken a 70 per cent holding in the new company, with airberlin taking the remaining 30 per cent.  The total transaction value is €200 million, which is being financed by an equity injection of €50 million and debt financing of €150 million, provided by HSBC International and Commerzbank.

The entity will become part of a new loyalty management company being established by Etihad Airways.  This company will allow Etihad Airways and its partners to target the fast-growing, profitable global loyalty management market more effectively. The new loyalty group will have global scale and a critical mass of valuable, high-spending consumers.

It is planned that Etihad Guest, which expanded to become a multi-airline program in June when Seychelles Plus, the Air Seychelles frequent flyer program, started participating in the program, will cooperate with the new company.