AmEx Global Business Travel forms Middle East joint venture

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), business partner for managed travel, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Kanoo Travel, a travel management network in the Middle East.

GBT will form a joint venture with parent company YBA Kanoo Group to provide managed travel and events services to clients in the Middle East. Kanoo Travel, which has been a key member of GBT’s global travel partner network for many years, operates in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and customary conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

GBT will hold 65% of the new joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, and assume management and operational control of the business and its 539 employees. YBA Kanoo Group will hold the remaining 35% stake in the joint venture.

Elyes Mrad, managing director of international in GBT said: “The creation of the joint venture will enhance how we service those clients and their travellers by combining Kanoo’s region-specific expertise with the backing of GBT’s global scale and technology.”

Nabeel K. Kanoo, president of Kanoo Travel said: “Our own clients in the Middle East will profit in the long term from having access to GBT’s total travel and expense eco-system, proprietary technology and global reach.”

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