American Express Global Business Travel has made a binding
offer to acquire Egencia, Expedia Group’s corporate travel arm.
Should the deal go through, it would bring the corporate
division of Expedia Group—the entire entity is ranked No. 1 on Travel Weekly’s
2020 Power List—together with No. 3 positioned Amex GBT, currently the largest
corporate travel agency in Travel Weekly’s rankings.
Amex GBT, which serves more Corporate Travel 100 accounts
than any other travel management company, has long been keen to bring more
small and midsize enterprise accounts into the fold. Merging with Egencia,
which has excelled in the SME market and also has gained traction with large
corporate accounts like BP, would bring
the full spectrum of the market together under a single umbrella. According to
a report in The Beat, Egencia will operate as a discrete brand within
“Our strategy is to provide customers with unparalleled
choice by having the best solutions for each managed travel segment that we
serve,” said Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott. “In Egencia, we would welcome the
industry’s leading digital business travel platform. 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 organizations.”
On the technology side, how the Egencia booking platform and
Amex GBT’s Neo share resources or play off each other’s features will be
interesting to watch. Both platforms have touted their commitment to
sustainability-oriented features in recent months. The companies said in the
announcement that the platform duo would “be positioned to build the best
solutions for the future of business travel.”
“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,” said Expedia Business Services
president Ariane Gorin.
The Egencia acquisition would come with an expanded
long-term content commitment with Expedia Group on the accommodations side. The
agreement “with Expedia Partner Solutions would enhance GBT’s Supply
MarketPlace and meaningfully further Expedia Group’s goal of powering business
across the entire ecosystem,” said Gorin.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed but will be
subject to consultation by Expedia Group and Egencia with their applicable
employee representatives, as well as customary closing conditions including
regulatory approvals, according to the announcement.