London, UK – January 21, 2021 American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, has acquired Ovation Travel Group. The purchase includes all Ovation Travel Group brands, including Lawyers Travel.
Ovation Travel Group clients and travelers will continue to receive the outstanding, high-touch service for which the business and its people have become so renowned over the last 36 years. They will now also have access to the global reach, technology and expertise that comes with the powerful backing of American Express GBT.
Paul Abbott, GBT’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Since 1984, Ovation Travel Group has built a well-deserved reputation for providing leading travel management services to professional enterprises. In addition to the personalized service to which their clients and travelers have become accustomed, there will be new benefits that come with being part of the GBT family. 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.”
He added: “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. 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.”
Paul Metselaar, Ovation Travel Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 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.”
Eric Bock, GBT’s Global Head of Mergers and Acquisitions, said: “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.”
Ovation Travel Group and its employees will become a division of GBT’s Global Customer Partnerships organization, led by the same management team.
The existing Ovation Travel Group brands will remain in place. The terms of acquisition will remain undisclosed.
Baird acted as exclusive financial advisor to Ovation Travel Group in this transaction.
About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and employees prosper by making sure travellers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organise meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.
About Ovation Travel Group
Ovation Travel Group, whose flagship brand, Lawyers Travel, began operations more than 35 years ago, is one of the largest independently owned travel companies headquartered in the U.S. With clients serviced globally and more than $1.7 billion in annual sales, Ovation has travel consultants throughout the U.S. and UK. Ovation’s UK brand, Chartwell Travel, is among the most prestigious independent travel management companies servicing the media and entertainment sector. With more than 700 employees and more than 200 independent travel advisors, Ovation provides business travel services, bespoke luxury travel experiences and meeting and special events planning for more than 700 professional organizations and more than 300,000 travelers.