The news: Seattle travel giant Expedia announced Tuesday that it has agreed to sell its corporate business arm Egencia to American Express Global Business Travel. Both companies offer tools for business travel management. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Travel trends: It’s unclear how business travel will bounce back from the pandemic, with many executives citing cost savings from video meetings and a push to reduce carbon emissions.
Expedia’s B2B unit, which includes Egencia, saw revenue sink 64% to $942 million in 2020 as the pandemic roiled the travel industry. B2B made up 18% of Expedia’s total revenue last year.
Matt Hulett, a former Egencia exec, said the deal presents an opening for other B2B travel companies. “Corporate travel is still antiquated and has a lot of innovation ahead of it,” he said in a tweet.
5. This acquisition by American Express will likely be an opening for a new startup to challenge a less innovative incumbent. Not sure who this will be but look for players like @TripActions and others to drive opportunity and alpha.
— Matt Hulett (@matt_hulett) May 4, 2021
Egencia background: Expedia’s business arm was originally called Expedia Corporate Travel and rebranded to Egencia in 2008. Expedia in 2004 acquired a French corporate travel firm called Egencia.
The acquisition is part of Expedia’s move to streamline parts of its operation.
“We are thrilled by the potential transaction and what GBT and Egencia could achieve together, as Expedia Group seeks to simplify our business and be a leader in all of our endeavours,” President of Expedia Business Services Ariane Gorin said in a statement.
Previously: Expedia launches brand refresh, new features and ad campaign in anticipation of travel surge