The following announcement was distributed yesterday to all American Express and American Express Global Business Travel employees.
Stephen Squeri, Group President, Global Corporate Services
American Express Employees;
All American Express Global Business Travel Employees
June 30, 2013
GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL JV DEAL CLOSED
Today marks the start of an exciting future for American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). I am pleased to announce that we have officially closed the deal on one of the largest transactions in the history of business travel. As of today, GBT begins its next chapter as a stand-alone company.
The new joint venture, a 50-50 partnership between American Express and an investor group led by Certares, will create an even more focused and nimble competitor. GBT will benefit greatly from the substantial investment being put into the joint venture, funds that will be used to develop cutting-edge products, create state-of-the art capabilities, and attract new customers.
American Express will also see benefits from the deal. As previously reported to the financial community, the company plans to use a significant portion of the expected gain from the deal, minus transaction costs, to build our business for the future, including supporting several of our newer growth initiatives, such as Amex Everyday and Serve, among others.
GBT will keep its close ties with American Express. The American Express brand is front and center in the new company’s name. Beyond branding, GBT will continue to work closely with AmEx business units, including, of course, our corporate payments business, as we seek to bring more benefits to our mutual customers.
American Express has been in business travel for nearly a century, and we remain committed to helping GBT succeed going forward. Underscoring this commitment, in addition to the financial stake we hold, several American Express senior executives will serve as members of the GBT Board of Directors to help ensure continuity and guide the new company forward. We’ve built a business that has led the industry for many decades, and we are excited to remain a part of what we believe will be its next great period of innovation.
Getting to this point took countless hours of work by hundreds of employees across the company who provided invaluable support. Preparing GBT to operate as an independent entity was an extremely complex task, and teams from Corporate Development, General Counsel’s Office, Finance, Controllership, Global Business Services, Technologies, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs did a tremendous job. I am extremely grateful for the dedication, perseverance and outstanding results delivered by all involved.
Finally, I want to thank all the people of GBT. They represent the very best of the business travel industry. Great things are ahead for them, and I know all of us at American Express wish them all the very best.