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Streetwise newsletter: Aimia accepts Air Canada’s sweetened $450-million bid for Aeroplan; OMERS buys pipeline stake for $1.4-billion

Here are the top reads on deals and financial services over the last 24 hours,

Loyalty programs: Fifteen months after announcing it would end its relationship with Aeroplan, the loyalty program created inside Air Canada in 1984 and spun out as a separate company in 2005, Air Canada sweetened an earlier cash offer to buy the Aeroplan business to $450-million-- and the assumption of $1.9-billion in Aimia liabilities. Story (Greg Keenan, for subscribers)

Should the deal go through, Aimia will offload the driving force of its largest division. The Coalitions segment of the business, of which Aeroplan is the biggest part, accounted for $712.6-million, or 91 per cent of Aimia’s revenues, in the first half of this year. Reporter Susan Krashinsky Robertson writes on what can be expected for the future of Aimia after the Aeroplan sale. Story (for subscribers)

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OMERS: One of Canada’s largest pension funds is paying US$1.4-billion for a 50-per-cent interest in a pipeline that moves oil from the Permian region of Texas, in its third big U.S. energy acquisition this year. Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), a defined benefit plan for 500,000 members from school boards, emergency services and local agencies, is buying the stake in the BridgeTex pipeline from Plains All-American Pipeline LP and Magellan Midstream Partners LP, both of which will remain as partners. Story (Jeffery Jones)

Home Capital: A shareholder is putting pressure on recovering mortgage lender Home Capital Group Inc. to buy back $60-million in shares and speed up plans to streamline the company’s capital structure. In an open letter, the chief investment officer for Shanghai-based Kingsferry Capital Management Group Ltd., Hugo Chan, argues the lender is overcapitalized and suffering from low liquidity as trading activity in its stock has declined. Story (Jeffery Jones, for subscribers)

MORE DEALS NEWS

Tesla saga: Brokerage Morgan Stanley has suspended equity coverage on Tesla Inc, hinting that the U.S. bank may be doing business directly with the company as it explores options to go private, pushing the electric carmaker’s shares up as much as 5 per cent on Tuesday. Story

Tech sector: Workplace chat software maker Slack Technologies Inc. continued its fervent pace of fundraising with a US$427-million round of investment. The deal, led by private equity firms Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, values the business at about US$7.1-billion, the San Francisco-based company said on Tuesday. Story

Media sector: Yellow Pages Ltd. says that its wholly-owned subsidiary has reached a deal to sell its RedFlagDeals division to VerticalScope Inc. for $12-million. Story

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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Venture capital: One of Canada’s largest pension funds is financing DuckDuckGo Inc., a rapidly growing search engine that positions itself as the “anti-Google” because it doesn’t track or store its users’ search results. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is leading a US$10-million investment in the profitable U.S. firm, which handles about 24 million searches a day and generates more than US$25-million in annual revenue. Story (Sean Silcoff, for subscribers)

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