American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) says it is ‘poised’ for the next phase of its long-term growth strategy after signing an agreement for an equity recapitalisation, with new investors joining the fold.

American Express will retain its 50 per cent ownership stake in GBT, while the Certares-led investor group – including Qatar Investment Authority, funds managed by BlackRock and Teacher Retirement System of Texas – will now include The Carlyle Group’s private equity platform, Carlyle Global Partners, and GIC.

In addition, the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents and Kaiser Permanente have also joined the investor group.

Greg O’Hara, the founder and senior MD of Certares, will continue as executive chairman of the GBT board of directors.

O’Hara commented: “This investment validates the success of the joint venture and underscores the strength of our long-term growth strategy. We are pleased to continue working with American Express and nearly all of our original investors, as well as welcoming Carlyle, GIC and others to the group.”

According to Amex GBT, it has more than 18,000 employees across a network of more than 140 countries and manages more than US$35 billion of corporate travel every year.

The TMC has grown over the last two years through a series of acquisitions, starting with the take-over of HRG in 2018 and followed by Kanoo Travel in the Middle East and DER Business Travel in Germany.

Amex GBT is under new management, with chief executive Paul Abbott (pictured) succeeding Doug Anderson. Andrew Crawley will be joining as chief commercial officer in April 2020, while president Philippe Chereque due to step down at the end of March to join Certares.

Abbott said: “To have the continued support of growth-oriented investors willing to commit capital for long-term value creation is great news for our business, our customers and our people. We are poised for the next phase of organic growth and M&A activity, fuelled by continued investment in break-through technology and our unwavering commitment to putting our customers and their travellers at the centre of everything we do.”

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