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American Express Global Business Travel JV Wins Cross Border Deal Of The Year

  • Certares Receives Three International M&A Awards

NEW YORK, May 14, 2015 --

Certares LP is pleased to announce that the company won three awards at The M&A Advisor's 7th Annual International M&A Awards for the successful completion of a joint venture with American Express last year. The Certares-formed investor group includes Qatar Investment Authority through its wholly-owned subsidiary Qatar Holding LLC, funds managed by BlackRock, Certares itself and Macquarie Capital. The winners were announced at a sold out award ceremony held at The New York Athletic Club on April 28 in New York City.

"We are very proud of the partnership we formed with American Express Global Business Travel last year and are honored to be recognized by The M&A Advisor as a three-category award winner," said Greg O'Hara, Founder and Managing Partner, Certares. "We are humbled by the trust that our partners in this investment – including Qatar Holding LLC, funds managed by BlackRock, Macquarie Capital – have placed in us as we focus on delivering superior results for the business, its customers and all stakeholders in American Express Global Business Travel."

Certares was named a winner in the following categories:

  • Cross Border M&A Deal of the Year
  • Professional Services B-to-B Deal of the Year
  • US - Middle East Deal of the Year

"In 2014, we witnessed the return of M&A volumes to pre-crisis levels and with that an unprecedented transformation of local market firms and dealmakers into global M&A experts whose intimate knowledge and expertise in the cultural, financial and legal arenas are redefining our industry," said David Fergusson, President and Co-CEO of The M&A Advisor. "We are honored to be able to celebrate the creativity, perseverance and ingenuity of Certares in the successful completion of the American Express Global Business Travel transaction and bestow upon them our highest honor."

Over 500 companies participated in the 7th Annual International M&A Awards. For a detailed list of the Award winners, please click here.

About Certares
Certares LP is dedicated to long-term value creation by actively developing our investments. Through effective partnership with the management of our companies and direct alignment with our investors, Certares implements strategic and operational improvements to sustainably generate attractive returns on capital. Flexibility in investment approach and alignment with our business partners are key tenets of Certares' philosophy. These values distinguish Certares as a preferable partner for organizations seeking to transform their businesses.

Formed in 2012, Certares brings together a team of experienced Private Equity and Travel, Transportation, Hospitality and Payment Sectors veterans with decades of both operational and investment experience. This operational expertise enables Certares to grow the businesses into which we invest and unlock their full potential. Certares' permanent capital structure and sector focus allows for flexibility in structuring transaction solutions and gives partners and sellers freedom to achieve their objectives while allowing Certares to move at unparalleled speed.

Certares is headquartered in New York, NY.

THE M&A ADVISOR
The M&A Advisor was founded in 1998 to offer insights and intelligence on the M&A market. Over the past seventeen years we have established the premier global network of M&A, Turnaround and Finance professionals. Today, we have the privilege of presenting, recognizing the achievements of, and facilitating connections between the industry's top performers throughout the world with a comprehensive range of services including:

  • M&A ADVISOR SUMMITS. Exclusive gatherings of the industry "thought leaders".
  • M&A ADVISOR AWARDS. Recognizing and rewarding the leading firms and professionals.
  • M&A LINKS. Direct connection service for domestic and international dealmakers and service providers.
  • MandA.TV. Reporting on the key industry events and interviewing the newsmakers.
  • M&A MARKET INTEL. Comprehensive research and reporting on the key issues facing the industry.

To learn more about the M&A Advisor's leadership services contact lpisareva@maadvisor.com.

Contacts
The M&A Advisor
Liudmila Pisareva, 718-997-7900
lpisareva@maadvisor.com
or
Kwittken
Jessica Nelson, 646-747-7141
Jnelson@kwittken.com

Dhiren Fonseca Joins Certares as Partner

NEW YORK, December 4, 2014 --

Certares LP is pleased to announce that Dhiren Fonseca has joined the firm as a Partner. In his new role, Mr. Fonseca will work closely with investment professionals throughout the firm to help generate consistent, long-term performance for Certares’ investors.
“Dhiren’s breadth of experience and distinguished track record at Expedia, Inc. present an invaluable opportunity for the firm,” said Greg O’Hara, Founder and Managing Partner of Certares. “We are very pleased to have him join the team and look forward to the impact he will have on elevating our capabilities. His incredible background in Travel and Technology will be instrumental in creating superior performance for our investors and unique opportunities for our corporate partners and portfolio companies.”

Mr. Fonseca joins Certares LP from a long and distinguished career in the online travel and software technology industries. He was a founding team member of Expedia.com and had a 19-year career with Expedia Inc, most recently serving as the Chief Commercial Officer.  During his tenure with Expedia, he held numerous roles across the business including President of the Partner Services Group, managing all external facing supplier relationships and supplier technology across Expedia’s entire brand portfolio. Prior to this Mr. Fonseca led Corporate Strategy and M&A at Expedia acquiring more than 20 companies and deploying in excess of US$2 billion of capital.  Prior to the formation of Expedia, Mr. Fonseca held numerous positions at Microsoft Corporation in both the Product groups and the Corporate Sales organization, beginning his career at Microsoft in 1988.

Mr. Fonseca, currently sits on the board of directors for Alaska Airlines (NYSE:ALK), Caesars Acquisitions Corporation (NASDAQ:CACQ) and eLong(NASDAQ:LONG).

About Certares
Certares LP is dedicated to long-term value creation by actively developing our investments. Through effective partnership with the management of our companies and direct alignment with our investors, Certares implements strategic and operational improvements to sustainably generate attractive returns on capital. Flexibility in investment approach and alignment with our business partners are key tenets of Certares' philosophy. These values distinguish Certares as a preferable partner for organizations seeking to transform their businesses.

Formed in 2012, Certares brings together a team of experienced Private Equity and Travel, Transportation, Hospitality and Payment Sectors veterans with decades of both operational and investment experience.  This operational expertise enables Certares to grow the businesses into which we invest and unlock their full potential. Certares’ permanent capital structure and sector focus allows for flexibility in structuring transaction solutions and gives partners and sellers freedom to achieve their objectives while allowing Certares to move at unparalleled speed.

Certares is headquartered in New York, NY.

American Express Enters into Agreement to Create Joint Venture for Business Travel

  • Qatar Investment Authority and Certares lead group investing $900 million for 50% stake in joint venture; American Express retains 50% ownership
  • Investment creates additional capacity for products, technology and servicing capabilities

NEW YORK, March 17, 2014 --

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) today announced that it has signed an agreement to create a joint venture for its Global Business Travel division ("GBT"). Under the agreement, American Express will share ownership of the joint venture with an investor group led by Certares. In the proposed transaction, American Express will separate its GBT operations into a dedicated holding structure, which will include certain assets and liabilities that currently comprise GBT, and will have a 50% ownership stake in the joint venture following the closing. In exchange for an investment of $900 million in the joint venture, the investor group will hold the remaining 50%. American Express initially announced its intention to pursue this joint venture transaction in September 2013.

The Certares-formed group includes Qatar Investment Authority through its wholly-owned subsidiary Qatar Holding LLC, funds managed by BlackRock, Certares itself and Macquarie Capital. The business will continue to operate under the "American Express Global Business Travel" brand following the closing. American Express expects to execute comprehensive commercial agreements with the joint venture to provide uninterrupted service and close coordination for the benefit of mutual customers of GBT and American Express' other business units, such as Global Corporate Payments, which issues the American Express Corporate Card and provides business-to-business payment solutions.

Bill Glenn, formerly President of Global Commercial Services at American Express, will be President and Chief Executive Officer of the joint venture. Certares founder Greg O'Hara will serve as Chairman of the joint venture.

"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 Kenneth I. Chenault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Express. "Bill Glenn is an accomplished leader with experience running major business units during his distinguished career at American Express. He has built strong customer relationships throughout the corporate sector and his experience makes him a terrific choice to lead the transformation of a business that will be focused on capitalizing on new growth opportunities."

H.E. Ahmad Al-Sayed, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Investment Authority, said: "We are pleased to have agreed terms and established this joint venture with Mr. Chenault and his management team, whom we regard as one of the most reputable and capable in any industry. American Express Global Business Travel is a truly global operation with clear benefits for our investment portfolio, across multiple regions and sectors. We welcome our new partners and look forward to a long and successful relationship."

The joint venture will build upon GBT's technology innovations to support digital and premium servicing capabilities, mobile applications, improved reporting tools and itinerary management solutions, as well as the customer service expertise for which American Express is renowned. In addition to travel services, GBT provides meetings & events management and consulting services to some of the world's most recognized companies.

Mr. Glenn added: "To our knowledge, this would be the largest single investment made in a travel management company. We believe it will accelerate our growth by funding meaningful advances in technology, analytics and service excellence that will benefit suppliers, partners and our global customer base. We account for more corporate travel sales than any other TMC, and these initiatives will put us in a better position to help travel buyers manage travel spend and support their travelers."

The closing of the joint venture transaction is subject to the receipt of requisite regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Assuming these conditions are met, American Express would plan to close the transaction in the second quarter of 2014. American Express would expect to use a substantial portion of any gain recognized upon a closing of the transaction to invest in growth initiatives.

GBT has over 14,000 employees and operations and network partners in 139 countries worldwide. It offers a comprehensive network, service dependability, and deep insight to customers representing more than $19 billion in corporate travel spend.

American Express' consumer travel business, which provides Card Members and other consumers with travel benefits and services, is not part of the transaction.

UBS Investment Bank and Lazard are financial advisors and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is legal advisor to American Express on this transaction.

Credit Suisse is financial advisor and Dechert LLP is legal advisor to the Certares investor group on this transaction. Legal advisors on this transaction are Linklaters LLP to Qatar Holding LLC, Ropes & Gray to BlackRock (on behalf of managed funds) and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP to Macquarie Capital.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com.

About American Express Global Business Travel
Positioned at the intersection of commerce and travel, American Express Global Business Travel offers its customers a comprehensive network, service dependability, and deep insight to help move people and businesses forward. American Express Global Business Travel provides leading travel solutions, integrated consulting services, proprietary research, and end-to-end meetings and events capabilities. These innovative offerings enable customers to optimize the return on their travel and meetings investments. Learn more at www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel.

American Express Global Business Travel is part of one of the world's largest travel agency networks with locations in 139 countries worldwide.

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