American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is set to get publicly listed at the stock market through a merger with a blank-check startup funded by Apollo Global Management Inc in a deal worth an estimated $5.3 billion, the company said on Friday.
The company expects to achieve gross proceeds of up to $1.2 billion, including a $335 million private investment in public equity, or PIPE through its merger with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital.
Investment management Ares Management Corp, travel technology business Sabre Corp, and Zoom Video Communications Inc were among the PIPE’s backers.
This deal for a public listing by the company comes at a time when business travel is recovering from a pandemic induced plunge, providing a boost to organisations such as AmEx GBT that assist with corporate travel planning.
Till 2014, AmEx GBT was a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express Co. A consortium led by investment company Certares LP then bought over half of the stake of the company.
GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, and the Carlyle Group were planning to buy a 20 per cent share in the firm in late 2019, but the deal fell through in May of last year as the Covid-19 issue wreaked havoc on the travel industry.
Over the last year, AmEx GBT has bolstered its company by purchasing Ovation Travel Group, Expedia Group’s corporate travel unit Egencia, and a travel software firm that employs artificial intelligence, 30SecondsToFly.
After the merger, the merged firm will be known as Global Business Travel Group, but it will continue to operate under the AmEx GBT brand name.
After the merger closes in the first half of 2022, the business will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “GBTG.”
SPACs, also known as blank-check corporations, are shell companies formed with the objective of combining with a private company to take it public without having to go through the regular IPO process.
(Adapted from Nasdaq.com)