American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has announced the signing of an agreement for an equity recapitalisation of its joint venture ownership structure to maintain GBT’s focus on its long-term growth strategy.

Formed in 2014, GBT has more than 18,000 employees across a network of more than 140 countries and manages more than US$35 billion of corporate travel every year.

American Express will retain its 50% ownership stake, with a Certares-led investor group holding the other 50%, including Qatar Investment Authority, certain funds managed by BlackRock, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, will now include The Carlyle Group’s long-duration private equity platform, Carlyle Global Partners, and GIC, an institutional investor. In addition, the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents, and Kaiser Permanente, have also joined the investor group. Greg O’Hara, the founder and senior managing director of Certares, will continue as executive chairman of the GBT board of directors.