Feb 9, 2018

American Express GBT to buy Hogg Robinson for £410m

FTSE 250 group Hogg Robinson has agreed to a takeover by the business travel arm of American Express worth up to £410m, in a tie-up that would result in the merger of two of the world's largest corporate travel companies. Hogg Robinson, the UK-based business travel agency, on Friday said it had agreed to sell Fraedom, its payments technology subsidiary, to the US credit card giant Visa in a deal worth £141.8m. Separately, American Express Global Business Travel s offered to pay between 110p and 120p for each Hogg Robinson share. "Today's deal is attractive for Hogg Robinson Group's shareholders and an exciting next step for Fraedom," said William Brindle, chief operating officer at Hogg Robinson. After the complex transaction was announced, shares in Hogg Robinson jumped nearly 50 per cent to £116p. The merged entity is intended to offer its business customers a comprehensive suite of travel products and services, while combining technology and infrastructure in a way that they believe will "Maximise efficiencies". "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," said Doug Anderson, chief executive of American Express GBT. American Express GBT is a joint venture between US credit card group American Express and a consortium of investors led by Certares, the private equity firm.

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