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American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has signed an agreement to acquire Finnish-based travel management company and subsidiary of Finnair SMT.
GBT said the travel management firm has been an important partner within its network for 27 years. SMT staff will join GBT once the deal is completed in the third quarter of 2016.
Elyes Mrad, GBT’s Managing Director, EMEA, said: “SMT has a customer-centric approach to business and is driven by a passion for delivering superior customer service.
"This, of course, is underpinned by its profound knowledge of the Finnish marketplace. It is a natural fit with GBT. Companies and organizations in Finland and around the world will continue to benefit from SMT’s local expertise, and the advantages of GBT’s global scale and access.”
SMT was formed in 2013 after the merger of the two largest Finnish-owned business travel agencies, Area Travel Agency and Finland Travel Bureau. The company provides travel management and meeting and event services to customers throughout Finland.
SMT chief executive Kirsi Paakkari said: “SMT's main strategic objective is to be a leading provider of corporate travel services in Finland. Joining GBT accelerates our progress toward that objective. We have motivated, productive and innovative employees. Our dynamic business style, combined with GBT's resources, will make us a powerful and effective business travel partner for companies across Finland.”
Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer of Finnair and chairman for SMT’s Board of Directors, said the Finnair Group decided to divest SMT after a successful turnaround in the TMC business. He added that the Finnair Group’s focus would remain on its core airline businesses.