< PrevNext > The Public Entrant Paul Abbott, American Express Global Business Travel CEO By Jay Boehmer / December 09, 2022 / Contact Reporter Share In a year when public markets took a tumble and special purpose acquisition companies lost their shine, the world's largest travel management company successfully went public by way of a merger with a blank-check company.American Express Global Business Travel CEO Paul Abbott in June rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange to honor the TMC's inaugural trading as a public company weeks prior. Being public long has been associated with such benefits as a boosted company profile and the ability to raise capital. It also comes with additional financial and operational disclosures, which competitors, investors and industry watchers keep tabs on.Abbott said GBT planned for a while to go public. Last year, it considered two main paths: launch an initial public offering or strike a deal with a blank-check company. It chose the latter, and in late 2021 announced its deal with special purpose acquisition company Apollo Strategic Growth Capital.That deal capped off a 2021 in which the world's biggest TMC added heft with acquisitions of Ovation and Egencia."Ultimately, what was attractive about the SPAC path was, we are emerging from the pandemic, and we want to be able to share forward-looking projections around how we see the recovery of business travel," Abbott said in April of the decision. The IPO route is more restrictive on forward-looking statements. Pre- and post-trading, GBT in investor forums and quarterly calls this year looked at a future of share gains, post-pandemic travel recovery and a fortified position in the small-to-midsize travel management sector. GBT's share price spent much of year down from its first-day trading levels and below that when Apollo priced its IPO, but investment analysts from Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Redburn expect its share price to climb and for GBT to make good on its plans to gain share and outpace the collective competitive set. Now operating as a public company, the industry will get to watch the story unfold quarter after quarter after quarter.