American Express buys 13% stake in employee spend management firm Concur

Source: American Express

American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) and Concur Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNQR), a leading provider of on-demand T&E expense management services, today announced that they have entered into an alliance involving both an exclusive marketing partnership and a strategic investment by American Express in Concur.

Through the marketing alliance, Concur will exclusively promote American Express's Corporate Cards to its clients and American Express's Global Commercial Card business will exclusively promote Concur Expense to its corporate clients. Concur Expense is a market leading on-demand service that streamlines and simplifies T&E expense management. With over 7,000 clients, Concur provides services that address all phases of corporate T&E expense management, enabling companies of all sizes to manage the entire process.

American Express has also purchased 6.4 million shares of newly issued common stock, representing 13% post issuance of the currently outstanding common equity voting interest in Concur, at a price per share of $39.27, for $251 million in cash. American Express also received a warrant in connection with its stock purchase, under which American Express has the right to purchase an additional 1.28 million shares of Concur common stock at any time during the next two years, at $39.27 per share.

"We're seeing growing demand from corporations for solutions that offer additional savings and control by automating labor-intensive expense management processes," said Anré Williams, President of American Express Global Commercial Card. "This partnership enables American Express to provide corporate clients with an integrated system to make their expense reporting process easier. Concur is well known around the world for being a leader in expense management services, and we have tremendous respect for their vision, product capabilities and management talent. This is a win-win for both of our companies - and, most importantly, for our customers."

"Concur is setting the agenda in the T&E expense management market by continuously improving the end-user experience through market leading innovation, while driving down the cost of doing business for our customers," said Steve Singh, Chairman & CEO of Concur. "Our partnership with American Express expands our market presence and broadens our distribution capacity. This is tremendous validation of Concur's industry-leading on-demand services, and we look forward to working with American Express to help our clients drive even more cost out of their businesses."

American Express will continue to provide spending data to customers that opt to use other expense-reporting systems. Concur will continue to interoperate with other corporate payment solutions. Currently, about 50% of Concur's existing clients use the American Express Corporate Card.

This alliance supports both companies' long-term growth objectives:

  • American Express's agreement with Concur is the latest move in its strategy to expand services in automating purchasing and payment. Earlier this year, American Express purchased Corporate Payment Services, GE's commercial card and corporate purchasing business unit. In December 2006, American Express acquired Harbor Payments, an Atlanta-based technology provider of electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) capabilities.
  • In addition to Concur's acquisition of Gelco in October 2007 - this partnership supports Concur's broader strategy of connecting every T&E expense transaction. Through one comprehensive suite of on-demand Employee Spend Management services, Concur helps streamline the entire process - from procurement to payment - helping companies of all sizes drive costs out of their businesses.

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