American Express (AXP) Spins Off Travel Unit

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- American Express (AXP) announced that it is spinning off 50% of its travel unit, Global Business Travel, in a $900 million deal that will create a joint venture with an investor group formed by Certares International Bank that includes the Qatar Investment Authority.

The new entity will continue to use the American Express brand and will be headed by Certares founder Greg O'Hara as chairman and Bill Glenn, formerly Amex's Global Commercial Services president, as CEO.

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Global Business Travel boasts 14,000 employees, operates in 139 countries. Global Business Travel brought in $29.2 billion in 2012 making it the world leader in corporate travel bookings.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AMERICAN EXPRESS CO as a "buy" with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AMERICAN EXPRESS CO (AXP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, revenue growth, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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