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AmEx partners with investor group to grow business travel division

american expressAmerican Express announced plans on Wednesday to establish a joint venture with an investor group, which will be led by Certares, to accelerate the growth of its global business travel division.

Under the current plan for consideration, AmEx would maintain a 50 percent stake in the joint venture, which would continue to operate under the AmEx brand. The investor group would invest a sum of between $700 million and $1 billion to grow the GBT business.

The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter of next year, would also allow employees to transition to the new structure. GBT management will remain in place and will be dedicated to serving the needs of its business customers.

“We’ve been making strong progress in our efforts to transform our corporate travel business,” Stephen J. Squeri, the group president of global corporate services at AmEx, said. “The first phase of this transformation, announced earlier this year, has been focused on reducing the cost structure within GBT through our technology and infrastructure advances.”

Squeri said the plan “represents the next phase of the transformation,” seeks to drive business growth through investments in the development of new products, services and capabilities to keep current customers and attract new clients.

“We anticipate that the expansion of our business travel offerings will not only help us grow GBT, but it would also provide additional value to our corporate payments customers, which would help us accelerate growth in that business as well,” Squeri said. “We believe this structure will provide superior opportunities for delivering customer benefits, retaining world-class talent and achieving long-term success.”

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