American Express Global Business Travel has announced plans to merge with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital ahead of a public listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
The two firms will have a combined pro forma market capitalisation of $5.3 billion, with the listing expected to create “the world’s largest publicly-traded B2B travel platform”.
A statement said the transaction was expected to generate up to $1.2 billion, with key new investors Apollo, Ares, HG Vora, Sabre and Zoom joining existing stakeholders American Express Company, Certares and Expedia Group.
The statement said that becoming a public company would “position GBT to accelerate its existing growth strategy, while providing additional investment capacity and flexibility to create more value and choice for customers”.
Paul Abbott, GBT chief executive, 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 unrivalled 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.”
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.
“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, GBT will continue to have rights to use the American Express trademark in connection with the American Express Global Business Travel and American Express GBT Meetings & Events brand.