American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) begins
trading today on the New York Stock Exchange following the close of its business
combination with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital.
The decision to create the special purpose acquisition
company (SPAC) was first
announced by the two companies in December with a valuation estimated at
approximately $5 billion.
The newly combined company is known as Global Business
Travel Group and trades under the symbol GBTG.
In a call with analysts earlier this month to discuss the company’s
2022 financial results, CFO Martine Gerow said the closing of the SPAC
would give it $335 million in PIPE (private investment in public equity) proceeds
from investors including Zoom, Sabre, Apollo, Ares and HG Vora.
Those investors join existing investors American Express
Company, Certares and Expedia Group.
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The deal also gives the company about $800 million in cash that
has been held in trust, with Gerow adding the company expects to turn free cash
flow positive in 2023.
“With strategic initiatives over the last few years, including
complementary accretive acquisitions, product and technology enhancements and
lasting cost reductions, we have confidence that we are very well positioned to
win a larger portion of the $1.4 trillion business travel market. As a publicly
traded company, we will have the flexibility to further accelerate our growth
strategy,” says Paul Abbott, Amex GBT’s CEO.
“Trading as a public company follows years of work
to strengthen our market leadership position. While listing our company is an
achievement, it also marks the beginning of a new phase of growth paired with a
focus on delivering long-term shareholder value as the world’s largest publicly
traded B2B travel platform.”
For Q1 2022, Amex GBT reported $350 million in revenue –
about the level pre-pandemic in 2019. The company says it expects total 2022
revenue to be about $1.75 billion.
The last year has seen several travel companies go public
via SPAC deals, including Sonder,