American Express Global Business Travel to Form Middle East Joint Venture
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Kanoo Travel, one of the largest travel management networks in the Middle East. GBT will form a joint venture with Kanoo Travel to provide managed travel and events services to clients in the Middle East.
Kanoo Travel, which has been a key member of GBT’s global travel partner network for many years, operates in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and customary conditions and is expected to close in Q4 2019 or early Q1 2020.
GBT will hold 65% of the new joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, and assume management and operational control of the business. YBA Kanoo Group, Kanoo Travel’s mother company will hold the remaining 35% stake in the joint venture.
Elyes Mrad, GBT’s Managing Director, International, said: “Kanoo Travel has been a trusted, long-term partner for GBT in the region for many years and is known and respected by many of our clients. The creation of the joint venture will enhance how we service those clients and their travelers by combining Kanoo Travel’s region-specific expertise with the backing of GBT’s global scale and technology.”
Nabeel Khalid Kanoo, President of Kanoo Travel, said: “GBT’s global clients, many of whom we already service, stand to benefit from a more consistent global offering because of this JV. Our own clients in the Middle East will profit in the long term from having access to GBT’s total travel and expense eco-system, proprietary technology and global reach. Our people are also excited by the possibilities that come with being part of the world’s most recognizable business travel brand.”
“For more than 70 years, Kanoo Travel has provided innovative travel management solutions across the region. Backed by one of the largest independent, family-owned companies in the Gulf, YBA Kanoo, Kanoo Travel offered dependable, compliance-driven, and cost effective services that exceed customers’ expectations. Now, we take our services and excellence a step further by joining our long-term partners GBT in becoming a truly global network” Nabeel Kanoo added.
The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.
The Kanoo family's involvement in air travel goes back to 1937 when the company provided refueling facilities in Bahrain for Imperial Airways seaplanes in route to India and Australia. In 1947 Kanoo Travel became the first IATA agency in the Gulf. Today, Kanoo Travel is the largest Travel Company in the Middle East.
With a team of over 1000 travel specialists spread across the region, operating a network of over 100 IATA locations, and established partnerships with global travel partners; Kanoo Travel provides the most comprehensive and specialized services in the travel industry with unmatched quality.
American Express Middle East
AMEX (Middle East) B.S.C. (c) - Since 1977, we have worked to make a difference in our customers lives in ways that matter most to them. We are a payments services company and we work hard every day to provide our customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business across the Middle East and North Africa.
Today, we employ a diverse workforce of more than 500 employees, covering our consumer, corporate and merchant services in the region.
We are a joint venture company, owned by Mawarid Investment Limited and American Express.
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