Amex GBT lines up TMC mega-merger

American Express Global Business Travel is set to acquire the Hogg Robinson Group in a merger of two of the world’s largest travel management companies.

A statement from GBT said both companies have made significant investments in people and technology in recent years and the combined group “will offer clients and travellers a more comprehensive range of travel management products and services”.

The deal will also deliver synergies through cost savings and scale benefits, accelerate growth and create the ability to combine two advanced travel technology platforms.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.

GBT has an annual turnover of around $24.8billion globally and 12,000 staff, while HRG has a £16billion global turnover and 14,000 staff worldwide.

Doug Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, American Express GBT, says: “The complementary geographical footprints of each company will improve the global scale and reach of our business, enabling us to achieve efficiencies across a best-in-class platform and accelerate growth.”

David Radcliffe, Chief Executive Officer, HRG, adds: “I am particularly excited and heartened by American Express GBT’s reassurance that it will be utilising the best talent and technology from within both organisations to create a truly world-class, leading-edge organisation, which will bring benefits to our clients, colleagues and supplier partners alike.”

Travelport’s Simon Feguson likened the deal to HP’s acquisition of Compaq in the 1990s, while business travel consultant Chris Pouney says that “reduced competition will make procurement of travel tougher in the coming months”.