Private equity firm Carlyle Group and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC are pulling out of a deal to invest in American Express Global Business Travel, a corporate travel booking service that is 50 percent-owned by American Express, according to published reports.
The investment would have given Carlyle and GIC a 20 percent stake in American Express GBT for USD 900 million and placed a value on the company of USD 5 billion. It’s just one of several deals so far that are being tripped up by uncertainties created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Carlyle and GIC are believed to argue that coronavirus and the collapse of business travel globally have materially altered the deal’s conditions, and thereby allow them to walk away.
None of the parties are making public statements and the litigation is under sea for now, although there have been a variety of published reports about the transaction’s potential demise.
Both Amex GBT and Carlyle, which withdrew financial guidance last month, have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus crisis, although both are believed to have ample liquidity.
There have been several travel-related deals that have failed to be consummated in recent weeks. Boeing bid adieu to a USD 4.2 billion deal with Embraer,; SoftBank backtracked on a USD 3 billion tender offer with WeWork; and Sabre withdrew its USD 360 million offer for Farelogix, although that was mostly because of regulatory complications in the UK.
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