Even though I'm a bit late in reporting the news, America Express has acquired another procurement business. This time, Amex has purchased GE's commercial card and corporate purchasing business unit for "$1.1 billion in cash" according to Purchasing. According to the article, "The sale also includes the purchase of GE's patented vPayment technology which provides fast and efficient payment for large ticket purchases. The technology provides unique account numbers for each transaction that expire once the purchase has been authorized."
What I find most interesting about the deal is how Amex continues to push ahead with new acquisitions when they're struggling to integrate existing ones in the business. In a post earlier this year, I wrote that "from past deals with Marketmile/Ketera to the more recent Rearden investment and Harbor Payments, Amex has made serious attempts to break into the market, but they've always come up short on the execution side relative to what they could become. Rumor now is that the venerable financial services company is struggling to fully integrate Harbor into its suite of capabilities and the group is largely functioning independently -- or at least not in a collaborative, go-to-market manner -- with the rest of Amex.” Perhaps this time around -- especially given American Express' long history in the P-Card world -- they'll be more successful at incorporating this new entity in the existing business.
- Jason Busch