|15 August, 2019

Kanoo to form joint venture with American Express arm

GBT will form a joint venture with Kanoo Travel to provide managed travel and events services to clients in the Middle East

An American Express sign is seen on a restaurant door in New York July 22, 2010.

An American Express sign is seen on a restaurant door in New York July 22, 2010.

Getty Images/Brendan McDermid

MANAMA: American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), business partner for managed travel, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Kanoo Travel, a YBA Kanoo Group firm.

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 UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

The transaction is subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year.

GBT will hold 65 per cent of the new joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, and assume management and operational control of the business.

YBA Kanoo Group, one of the largest independent, family-owned companies in the Gulf, will hold the remaining 35pc stake in the joint venture.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Elyes Mrad, managing director of international in GBT, said: “The creation of the joint venture will enhance how we service those clients and their travellers by combining Kanoo Travel’s region-specific expertise with the backing of GBT’s global scale and technology.”

Kanoo Travel has been a provider of travel management solutions across the region for more than 70 years, offering “dependable, compliance-driven, and cost effective services that exceed customers’ expectations”, said the company’s president Nabeel Khalid Kanoo.

GBT’s global clients, many of which it already serves, stand to benefit from a more consistent global offering because of the JV, he added.

“Our own clients in the Middle East will profit in the long term from having access to GBT’s total travel and expense ecosystem, proprietary technology and global reach. Our people are also excited by the possibilities that come with being part of the world’s most recognisable business travel brand,” said Mr Kanoo.

“Now, we take our services and excellence a step further by joining our long-term partners GBT in becoming a truly global network.”

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