Amex Global Business Travel looking into JV

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American Express is in ongoing discussions with regards to a proposed joint venture with an investor group led by Certares, a firm with experience in the travel industry.

The joint venture transaction is expected to create greater investment capacity for the American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) division, to further enhance its suite of products and services and deliver additional value to customers.

It’s planned that American Express would maintain a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture, which would continue to operate under the American Express Global Business Travel brand. The remaining 50% would be owned by Certares.

“We’ve been making strong progress in our efforts to transform our corporate travel business,” said Stephen J Squeri, Group President, Global Corporate Services, American Express. “The first phase of this transformation, announced earlier this year, has been focused on reducing the cost structure within GBT through our technology and infrastructure advances. The joint venture we plan to form represents the next phase of the transformation, which is aimed at accelerating the growth of this business through additional investments that would be used to develop new products, services and capabilities.”

Travel has been an integral part of American Express for more than a hundred years, and maintaining a strong presence in the business travel industry is of strategic value to Amex. GBT has operations and network partners in 138 countries worldwide.

Amex’s consumer travel business, which provides card members and other consumers with travel benefits and services, would not be part of the proposed transaction.