HRG Buy Would Boost GBT’s Proprietary Network, Topple Some Partnerships

If it proceeds as planned, HRG's acquisition by American Express Global Business Travel would give the latter new proprietary operations in Austria, Italy and Russia. As if integration of acquired companies isn't difficult enough, GBT also would need to sort out a complicated array of relationships the two travel management companies hold in markets where they don't own the operation. These include joint ventures and partnerships in Brazil, China and Japan.

HRG shareholders on Friday voted overwhelmingly in favor of the roughly $571 million takeover. The deal remains . . .

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Author: Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell in 2004 created travel business newsletter The Beat, in 2006 co-founded Travel Procurement magazine and in 2010 integrated them with Business Travel News. He served as editorial director until 2013. Jay made his travel industry media debut in 1993 at the Air Travel Journal of Boston while earning his undergraduate degree in journalism at Boston University.

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Caroline Strachan
Advisor

Interesting take, thanks Jay. I’ve been a customer of many different types of TMC, the megas with their majority ownership model (in terms of volume not number of markets) and network players. One piece missing in the article is the potential greater ability to manage partner quality in a network vs affiliate/JV or even owned model. In a network if you don’t perform you’re out! Elsewhere the poor performing agency gets to stay and the customer has to pull out of that one market and create a relationship elsewhere or just be unhappy with that one market!

Mary Ellen George
Advisor

Data transparency is really what travel managers, TMCs and suppliers are after, which is a challenge to achieve in non-owned markets. GBT and HRG have been leaders in regards to network ownership so from my view this is a scenario of Winner + Winner = Winning Network.