“We’ve been making strong progress in our efforts to transform our corporate travel business,” said Stephen J. Squeri, Group President, Global Corporate Services, American Express. “The first phase of this transformation, announced earlier this year, has been focused on reducing the cost structure within GBT through our technology and infrastructure advances. The joint venture we plan to form represents the next phase of the transformation, which is aimed at accelerating the growth of this business through additional investments that would be used to develop new products, services and capabilities that we expect will help us meet the evolving needs of our current customers, attract new ones, and continue to build our international business. We anticipate that the expansion of our business travel offerings will not only help us grow GBT, but it would also provide additional value to our corporate payments customers, which would help us accelerate growth in that business as well. We believe this structure will provide superior opportunities for delivering customer benefits, retaining world-class talent and achieving long-term success.”Travel has been an integral part of American Express for more than one hundred years, and maintaining a strong presence in the business travel industry is of strategic value to the Company. GBT has operations and network partners in 138 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive network, service dependability, and deep insight to customers representing more than $19 billion in corporate travel spend. The new joint venture would be positioned to utilize its own funds to invest in the business while still maintaining and benefitting from the customer benefits of a link to American Express’ other business units, such as Global Corporate Payments, which issues the American Express Corporate Card and provides business-to-business payment solutions. American Express’ consumer travel business, which provides Card Members and other consumers with travel benefits and services, would not be part of the proposed transaction.