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Ex-Nectar bosses show TLC in return to loyalty fray

Three former bosses of Nectar are returning to the loyalty scheme arena after hatching a deal to buy a big stake in the world's largest shoppers' rewards network.

Sky News understands that bd-capital, a private equity firm co-founded by Richard Baker, the former Boots chief executive and one-time Nectar chairman, will announce on Thursday that it has struck a deal to buy a big stake in TLC Worldwide.

David Johnston, another bd-capital executive who previously ran Aimia - which at the time was Nectar's owner - will become chairman of TLC.

Following the deal, which industry sources estimated was worth in the region of £150m, bd-capital will partner with London-based TLC to expand it into new countries and products.

Employing more than 350 people, TLC operates a reward distribution software platform called COSMOS, which offers access to the company's network of more than 45,000 experiences in 40 countries.

Nick True, TLC's founder, will remain on the company's board while Alec Johnson, its chief executive, will continue to run it.

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Founded in 1991, TLC has offices in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas.

Jan-Pieter Lips, another former Nectar CEO, will join the TLC board following the deal.

Launched in 2002, Nectar is now wholly owned by J Sainsbury, the supermarket chain, which said on Wednesday that the loyalty programme would be one of its principal drivers of growth in the coming years.

Bd-capital declined to comment.