American Express Global Business Travel Going Public

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has announced its entry into a definitive business combination agreement with special purpose acquisition company Apollo Strategic Growth Capital (APSG).

The combination is expected to create the world’s largest publicly traded B2B travel platform, which plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol “GBTG.”

Becoming a public company positions GBT to accelerate its existing growth strategy, while providing additional investment capacity and flexibility to create more value and choice for customers.

Communications platform company Zoom Video Communications; global travel technology company Sabre; APSG’s sponsor, an affiliate of alternative asset manager Apollo; funds managed by the private equity group of Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”); and investment adviser HG Vora, are among a new group of strategic and institutional investors committed to joining GBT’s upsized, oversubscribed PIPE.

Upon the closing of the transaction, these companies will join American Express Company, one of the world’s largest payment and card services providers, Expedia Group, one of the world’s largest online travel businesses, and Certares, a travel investment specialist, as shareholders.

Commenting on the move, Paul Abbott, GBT’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Becoming a public company will be a historic milestone on GBT’s growth journey. Commitments from new investors like Zoom, Sabre, Apollo, Ares and HG Vora are a huge vote of confidence in our business and the future of business travel, and meetings and events. We expect that becoming a listed company will give us the additional investment capacity to strengthen our commitment to providing unrivaled value, choice and experiences to our customers and partners.”

Sanjay Patel, CEO of APSG and Partner at Apollo, said: “We are delighted to support Paul and the GBT team alongside American Express Company, Expedia Group, Certares and the PIPE investors. We look forward to executing this combination and to supporting GBT’s future growth as a public company.”

Itai Wallach, Partner at Apollo, said: “American Express Global Business Travel is an industry leader with an incredible brand, strong management team and highly strategic shareholder base. This combination is an exciting and unique opportunity to support a leading company with strong staying power and the opportunity to accelerate its growth as a public company.”

Kelly Steckelberg, Chief Financial Officer at Zoom, said: “We are thrilled to invest in GBT and look forward to working with their talented team as they strive to deliver innovative and engaging virtual, face-to-face, and hybrid meeting and event experiences. Companies are increasingly looking for experts and best-in-class technology solutions for meetings and events in the new hybrid world, as evidenced by the demand for Zoom Events.”

And Steckelberg added: “Our companies share a relentless focus on the customer experience, and we are excited to leverage our Zoom Events solution to collaborate with GBT to bring unmatched meeting services to businesses of all sizes around the world.”

Under an 11-year agreement to take effect upon closure of the transaction, GBT will continue to have the right to use the American Express trademark in connection with the American Express Global Business Travel and American Express GBT Meetings & Events brands.

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