NEW YORK, NY & PARIS, France – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) today announced it has signed an agreement to acquire KDS, a global provider of integrated travel technology. Headquartered in France, KDS has operations in the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.
The acquisition of KDS is part of a broader investment strategy by GBT to develop an industry-leading suite of traveler-centric online and digital services, sitting on top of the company’s core technology platform for business travelers.
GBT’s Chief Commercial and Technology Officer Philippe Chereque said: “We are bringing together an industry-leading online solution and travel management company to create the first seamless end-to-end experience centered on the modern business traveler. This will also enable us to provide GBT customers with a proprietary door-to-door online booking tool (OBT) supported by our new technology infrastructure.”
KDS’ leading product is Neo. The July 2016 version combines all the functionality of the original OBT (multi-leg, group and offline booking, reporting), as well as door-to-door, single-click booking and a mobile travel app, in a unified, consumer-grade user interface. The highly-interactive platform drives high adoption rates and provides rich content, easy-to-understand budget information and policy alignment.
Dean Forbes, CEO of KDS, said: “KDS is a leading integrated travel technology provider with a deserved reputation for innovation and an entrepreneurial DNA. We have the best team challenging the status quo and creating game-changing technology. Our focus is on driving adoption to deliver savings, productivity gains and spend control for businesses of all sizes. We look forward to leveraging the support and assets that GBT will provide us to better serve GBT customers, whilst also continuing to serve our existing customers and partners with great products and services.”
GBT’s Chereque added: “As a part of GBT, KDS will have access to a strong brand, significant resources, broad geographic reach and a large global customer base. This will open up new possibilities for both businesses, and allow us to provide KDS’ innovation to more companies than ever before. Together, GBT and KDS can provide more powerful, user-friendly and seamless end-to-end solutions to more customers, mastering the online and offline experiences in one package.”
American Express Global Business Travel will continue to work with and support other OBTs across global marketplaces.
The KDS acquisition reflects GBT’s commitment since the joint venture two years ago to build out product and technology solutions globally. GBT has intensified its focus on digital business traveler tools, including the recent launch of a proprietary mobile app, and acquisitions including SMT to further broaden GBT’s footprint and scope. Founded in 1994, KDS has spent more than 20 years innovating integrated travel technology, developing industry-leading and award-winning cloud-based solutions for the modern business traveler.
GBT plans to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2016.