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Hogg Robinson shares soar on American Express GBT takeover bid and sale of unit to Visa

American Express GBT has offered 120p per share for Hogg while Visa will pay £141.8mln for its Fraedom business
Hogg Robinson provides corporate travel services

Hogg Robinson Group PLC(LON:HRG) shares surged after saying it has received a takeover offer from American Express Global Business Travel and has also agreed to sell its payments technology business to Visa Inc.

AmEx GBT has offered 120p per share for Hogg, which values the British business travel company at up to £393mln and represents a 54% premium to the stock's closing price on Thursday.

Hogg said Visa will pay £141.8mln for Fraedom, which provides payments and expense management technology to financial institutions.

Shares jumped 48% to 116.12p in afternoon deals.

Attractive deal

"Today's deal is attractive for Hogg Robinson Group's shareholders and an exciting next step for Fraedom," said Hogg’s chief operating officer, William Brindle.

"This combination will mean that Fraedom's employees and their clients will benefit from Visa's reach and deep knowledge of the digital payments industry."

The proposed takeover is not conditional upon completion of the Fraedom sale.

The company said even if an acquisition by AmEX GBT does not go ahead, the proceeds from its disposal of Fraedom will strengthen its financial position and allow it to invest in its remaining businesses, make payments to its pension scheme and potentially return capital to shareholders. 

American Express is a major shareholder in AmEx GBT but the business has been a separate entity since 2014. 

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