Amex GBT to go public to accelerate growth strategy

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

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.”

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.”

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 American Express Global Business Travel and American Express GBT Meetings & Events brands.

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