NEW YORK — American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) 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 U.S.
The acquisition of KDS is part of a broader investment strategy by GBT to develop an industry-leading suite of traveller-centric online and digital services, sitting on top of the company’s core technology platform for business travellers, said the company.
“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 traveller,” said GBT’s Chief Commercial and Technology Officer Philippe Chereque. “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 interactive platform drives high adoption rates and provides rich content, budget information and policy alignment.
American Express Global Business Travel will continue to work with and support other OBTs across global marketplaces, Chereque added.
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 traveller tools, including the recent launch of a proprietary mobile app, and acquisitions including SMT to further broaden GBT’s footprint and scope. GBT plans to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2016.