Kanoo Travel, one of the largest travel management networks in the Middle East, and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, have entered into a definitive agreement for GBT to acquire a controlling stake in Kanoo Travel. 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.
“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,” said GBT International Managing Director Elyes Mrad said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Kanoo Travel President Nabeel Khalid Kanoo said that for more than 70 years, Kanoo Travel has provided innovative travel management solutions across the region.
“GBT’s global clients, many of whom we already service, stand to benefit from a more consistent global offering because of this JV,” Mr Nabeel Kanoo said.
“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 recognisable business travel brand.
“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.”
The financial terms of the deal are undisclosed.