Skift Take

One of travel's most-anticipated SPACs, Amex GBT made it official Friday. It will start trading as a public company on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, smack into a volatile market. But signs of a fast-improving business travel recovery may be what investors choose to focus on.

American Express Global Business Travel, the world’s largest corporate travel agency, will start trading as a public company on Tuesday, May 31, with its special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) partner Apollo Strategic Growth Capital, the company quietly announced on Friday

Amex GBT will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “GBTG.”

The timing of the stock market debut is opportunistic, for sure, as more travel companies in recent weeks reported seeing a faster-than-anticipated recovery of business travel. Still, Amex GBT heads into a volatile and choppy market, where fears of inflation and a recession have spooked investors recently against the backdrop of the Ukraine war’s ongoing global impact. 

But Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott expressed optimism about his company’s future.

“Trading as a public company follows years of work to strengthen our market leadership position,” Abbott said.

“While listing our company is an achievement, it also marks the beginning of a new phase of growth paired with a focus on delivering long-term shareholder value as the world’s largest publicly traded (business-to-business) travel platform.”

Amex GBT announced last December it would go public as part of its merger with Apollo Strategic Capital. Strategic investors also include Zoom and Sabre, and new investors Apollo, Ares and HG Vora, which join American Express Company, Certares and Expedia Group.

Amex GBT’s value rose to $5.3 billion after the announcement of the merger, which generated up to $1.2 billion for the agency.

News of its public debut was announced without fanfare in a press release on Friday afternoon, a tactic used by many companies before long holiday weekends.

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Tags: amex gbt, business travel, corporate travel, IPOs, spacs