April 7, 2021
GOL Linhas Aéras (GLA) is a low-cost Brazilian passenger and cargo airline incorporated in 2001. It has a fleet of 127 aircraft and a network of 61 national and international destinations. GOL is the largest domestic and third largest international airline in Brazil. GOL had acquired the remnants of defunct Varig, the first national airline in Brazil, back in 2007.
SMILES was launched as the airmiles program of Brazilian airline Varig and became independent after Varig’s acquisition by GLA. Today, it serves numerous retailers, banks, airlines, hotels, restaurants and rental companies as loyalty scheme operator.
In 2018, GOL Linhas Aéras made an offer to acquire Smiles Fidelidade SA, and the proposed merger required the valuation of both of their assets. For the valuation of the trademarks, appraisal firm Apsis Empresarial used comparable data from MARKABLES and concluded on appropriate royalty rates of 2.7% on revenues for SMILES, and 0.48% on revenues for GOL. Please read the full valuation report submitted to GOL’s shareholders in March 2021 (in Portuguese) here.
The valuation report is the result of an increased offer of GOL. GOL owns more than half of Smiles and controls its board, but has faced stiff opposition from minority shareholders since it first proposed the merger in 2018. In recent years, GOL’s competitors, such as LATAM Airlines group and Avianca Holdings, have all absorbed their loyalty programs into their airlines.
For the previous offer and merger proposal in 2020, Apsis Empresarial determined the royalty rates for GOL and SMILES at 0.6% and 4.0%. See our earlier post here.
For a more detailed analysis of trademark valuation and applicable royalty rates in the airline industry, please read this post here. It lists royalty rates from license agreements, impairment tests, and trademark transactions. for various different airlines.