American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has announced it will acquire Hogg Robinson Group (HRG), subject to anti-trust approval.

The agreement is a recommended all-cash acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital, according to American Express GBT. It is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

The TMC says the combined group will be able to offer clients and travellers a more comprehensive range of products and services. Both companies will now be able to combine their technology and development platforms, create cost savings through synergies and leverage each other’s infrastructure to “maximise efficiencies”.

Doug Anderson, CEO of American Express GBT, said: “The complementary geographical footprints of each company will improve the global scale and reach of our business, enabling us to achieve efficiencies across a best-in-class platform and accelerate growth. The technology roadmaps of each business provide a powerful platform from which to drive future innovation. We will deliver a superior client and traveller experience through fully-integrated travel management solutions, including booking and expense management products.”

David Radcliffe, CEO of HRG, added: “This transaction represents a good deal for shareholders and stakeholders. I am particularly excited and heartened by American Express GBT’s reassurance that it will be utilising the best talent and technology from within both organisations to create a truly world-class, leading-edge organisation, which will bring benefits to our clients, colleagues and supplier partners alike.”

Greg O’Hara, chairman of the board at American Express GBT, said: “The Board of Directors of GBT strongly endorses the acquisition of Hogg Robinson. Significant customer, operational and financial benefits are expected. This will enable the combined group to focus on additional value creation for customers and the marketplace, while generating new efficiency and growth opportunities for the business. I am excited at the prospect of creating a truly world class travel management company using the best available talent from both Hogg Robinson and GBT. Customers and travellers will benefit from the Combined Group’s complementary geographical footprint and technology offering. This combination will unlock meaningful value for all stakeholders.”

HRG has also announced that it will sell its software-as-a-service technology business, Fraedom, to Visa for £141.75 million, which is expected to be completed by March 2018.

American Express GBT values HRG’s total shares between £376 million and £410 million.

HRG was number two on our list of the 50 Leading TMCs in 2017, with annual sales estimated at £1.12 billion, while American Express GBT was number three with estimated annual sales of £865 million.

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