American Express GBT begins trading as a public company

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American Express GBT expects total 2022 revenue to be about $1.75 billion.
American Express GBT expects total 2022 revenue to be about $1.75 billion. Photo Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

American Express Global Business Travel began trading Tuesday 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 Q1 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.

The deal also gives the company about $800 million in cash that had been held in trust. Gerow added that the company expects to turn 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," said 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, Vacasa, Grab and HometoGo. 

Source: PhocusWire

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