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Published on Thursday, January 21, 2021

American Express GBT acquires Ovation Travel Group



American Express Global Business Travel has acquired corporate and leisure business Ovation Travel Group for an undisclosed sum.


The deal includes all of Ovation's brands, including UK-based Chartwell Travel, which will all be retained.


The firm will continue to be led by the existing management team.  


Ovation, which formed in 1984 and is headquartered in the US, has 30 locations in the UK and US and operates in 100 countries.


Ovation Travel Group Chairman and Chief Executive Paul Metselaar said: "Extraordinary people and a culture of excellence have served as a solid foundation for providing our valued clients and travelers with a truly high-touch, personalized experience.


"These intrinsic qualities have enabled us to earn their business as their trusted travel partner for more than three decades.


"GBT's 100 years of service excellence, its values-driven culture, and its commitment to leading the industry complement us on a global scale, giving me huge confidence in the future. I am delighted we are joining the GBT family." 


GBT Chief Executive Paul Abbott said it was important for the firm to keep growing despite the enormous challenges facing the industry.


"This acquisition comes at a very difficult time for the industry, and the amazing people at GBT and Ovation Travel Group continue to operate in an uncertain environment," he said.


"We have worked hard to protect our business and our people throughout this period. But as we address short-term challenges, we must continue to invest for the future and deliver on our long-term strategy.


"I believe this deal will enhance the collective value and service we offer clients, suppliers and partners, and will create real opportunities for growth." 


He said Ovation has developed a 'well-deserved' reputation over 36 years.


"In addition to the personalised service to which their clients and travelers have become accustomed, there will be new benefits that come with being part of the GBT family," he said.


"These include access to GBT's proprietary technology platform and Supply MarketPlace, as well as our industry-leading products, data privacy, cyber security, and environment, social and governance (ESG) standards." 


GBT's Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Eric Bock, added: "Despite the pandemic, GBT continues to execute on its strategy to grow organically and through acquisitions in the U.S. small and medium enterprise (SME) segment.


"This acquisition adds a very high-quality asset and business that will enhance the service and capabilities we offer customers."  

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