American Express GBT swoops on Egencia

Binding deal for GBT to take-over Expedia Group's corporate arm

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is set to takeover Expedia’s corporate arm, Egencia, under a binding deal.

Expedia Group launched its corporate division in 2004 before branding it as Egenica four years later.

Under a long-term strategic commercial agreement between American Express GBT and Egencia, GBT will continue to invest in the brand, its people and technology.

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GBT is the largest of the global business travel companies in the world with sales of US$33.7 billion in 2020. Rivals BCD Travel and CWT (previously known as Carlson Wagonlit Travel) recorded revenue of US$27b and US$25b respectively. Australia’s Corporate Travel Management generated US$5b, according to BizVibe.

While Expedia Group itself was the largest travel company globally in 2020 in terms of sales, with a whopping US$99 billion, its corporate business was considered a smaller player in the market.

It’s estimated that the global business travel market lost over US$810 billion in revenue last year due to the pandemic.

Credit: Tima Miroshniche/Pexels

“Our strategy is to provide customers with unparalleled choice by having the best solutions for each managed travel segment that we serve. In Egencia, we would welcome the industry’s leading digital business travel platform,” said Paul Abbott, CEO of GBT.

“Egencia would be strengthened by GBT’s complementary technology, enterprise capabilities and cutting-edge content. This would create new opportunities for both multinational and small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) clients, suppliers and the talented teams within both organisations.”

Together, GBT and Egencia would offer comprehensive technology and customer solutions across every segment of business travel.

President of Expedia Business Services Ariane Gorin said: “We are thrilled by the potential transaction and what GBT and Egencia could achieve together, as Expedia Group seeks to simplify our business and be a leader in all of our endeavours. The combination of GBT’s leading solutions with Egencia’s great technology and team would help create the world’s best business travel offerings for customers and suppliers.

“At the same time, a greatly expanded, long-term accommodations supply agreement with Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) would enhance GBT’s Supply MarketPlace and meaningfully further Expedia Group’s goal of powering businesses across the entire eco-system.

Credit: Di Fisher/Pixabay

“Expedia Group strongly believes in the robust return of travel, including in the corporate space. We’re excited about our potential ownership in GBT and our long-term arrangement to power Egencia and GBT, as we do for thousands of other travel companies,” Gorin added.

The proposed deal is subject to consultation by Expedia Group and Egencia with their applicable employee representatives, as well as customary closing conditions including regulatory approvals.

Lead image: KrakenImages/Unsplash

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