American Express in Formation of Joint Venture

March 17, 2014

Cleary Gottlieb is representing American Express in the formation of a joint venture of its Global Business Travel division with an investor group which is led by Certares, a firm headed by M. Gregory O’Hara, the former head of J.P. Morgan’s principal investment division who has significant experience in the travel industry. The investor group also includes Qatar Holding, funds managed by BlackRock, Macquarie Capital and the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. The agreement to create the joint venture was announced on March 17, 2014. Closing is anticipated in the second quarter of 2014 and is subject to the receipt of requisite regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

In connection with the proposed transaction, American Express is in the process of separating its worldwide GBT operations, which includes over 14,000 employees and operations and network partners in 139 countries and which represents more than $19 billion in aggregate corporate travel spending, from the remainder of American Express’ operations. In exchange for an investment of $900 million, the investor group will acquire a 50% equity interest in the joint venture. American Express will continue to have a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture following the closing.