by Michael J. Shapiro | March 19, 2014
American Express has signed an agreement that creates a joint venture for its Global Business Travel division. An investor group led by Certares and including Qatar Holding is investing $900 million in exchange for a 50 percent stake in the unit. American Express will retain 50 percent ownership of the division. Bill Glenn, the former president of Global Commercial Services at American Express, will become the president and CEO of Global Business Travel; Certares founder Greg O'Hara will be chairman. “The joint venture reflects our continued commitment to the travel business through a new structure with an outstanding group of investors and the resources to grow the business and provide additional value to our corporate customers,” said American Express chairman and CEO Kenneth I. Chenault in a statement. According to American Express executives, the investment will be the largest ever made in a travel management company, and will help the company advance its technology solutions, as well as analytics and service. Amex plans to close the transaction in the second quarter of this year. The consumer travel business is not part of the transaction.