American Express Business Travel today announced the acquisition of the remaining 63% shares in their joint venture Farrington American Express Travel Services Limited in Hong Kong, to form a new wholly-owned travel management venture within this fast growth market.
In October 1999, Farrington Travel and American Express established Farrington American Express Travel Services Limited as a joint venture where Farrington Travel maintained the majority equity stake. Farrington American Express is a leading Hong Kong travel services provider which has constantly achieved, since its creation, double digit growth in revenues and earnings year after year.
American Express’ purchase continues the Company’s globalization strategy of organic growth, direct acquisition and joint venture or licensed partnership across all key markets in the world. This multi-pronged strategy has propelled rapid growth in mainland China and India, a leadership position in Singapore and Australia, and strong partnerships in Japan, the Philippines, and New Zealand.
Commenting on the agreement, Global Travel Services President, Charles Petruccelli said, “This acquisition confirms our leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region. With Farrington American Express Travel Services fully integrated, our business volume from the customer base we serve across Greater China (out of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Taiwan) will reach nearly one billion U.S. dollars of business travel volume this year, with a solid double-digit growth rate year-over-year.”
Mr. Petruccelli continued, “We are delighted to welcome the Company’s talented management and staff into American Express. As we have partnered with this team since 1999, we know them well and have had the privilege of their knowledge and engagement in a very complex and competitive Hong Kong market. They will bring this remarkable experience and expertise to our JAPA organization. That is illustrated by the recognized leadership position they have built in Hong Kong over the years.”
“There is immense potential for long-term economic growth in the JAPA region and business travel spend is directly linked to the growth of the economy,” added Libby Roy, Vice President and General Manager, Business Travel, Japan, Asia-Pacific, Australia.
American Express Business Travel has already capitalized on the strong economic growth in the JAPA region, reporting a 10% increase in year-over-year sales for the first five months of 2007. This growth can be attributed to increased client retention rates coupled with a significant number of new business wins totaling US$135 million including global brands such as ABN Amro in Australia and Symantec Corp. in India.
In addition to the strong sales growth across the region, Travel Weekly Asia recently named American Express Singapore the regions “Best Corporate Travel Management Company” with CITS American Express of China being also one of the three finalists for the same award.
About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel, a division of the American Express Company, is dedicated to helping its clients realize the greatest possible value from their investment in travel through increased cost savings, outstanding customer service and greater spend control. For small businesses, medium-sized enterprises and multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading booking technology, travel management consulting expertise, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support and customer service available online and offline, around the world.
American Express operates one of the world’s largest travel agency networks with over 2,200 travel service locations in over 140 countries and territories worldwide. The Company processed US$21.8 billion in global travel sales in 2006.
American Express Company (www.americanexpress.com) is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel, business services and international banking.