Datastream – coping with name changes
In Datastream you can search for companies (equities*) by name using the Datastream Navigator. However, you can only search by the current company name so care is required if there has been a name change.
For example, you find an FT article on the Carlton Granada merger, “Champagne Flowed as Carlton and Granada Won Approval to Merge. Now ITV Must Make the Deal Work.” (Financial Times[London, England] 11 Oct. 2003) and are looking to find the relevant share prices and returns from Datastream.
Nothing from a “granada” search seems to match.
The reason for this is that the equity Granada on Datastream was renamed ITV on 2 Feb 2004.
- Before 2 Feb 2004 the Datastream code 931524 represents the Granada (now renamed ITV).
- Upto 30 Jan 2004 the Datastream code 901604 represents Carlton (full Datastream name “Carlton Comms.”)
- From 2 Feb 2004 the Datastream code 931524 represents the merged company ITV.
Although there are three company names involved in this merger, it is recorded in Datastream as if Granada tookover Carlton Comms. and changed its name to ITV at the same time.
Another example is the demerger of GUS (formerly Great Universal Stores) into Home Retail Group and Experian. (Thanks to John Shenton for pointing this out.)
- Upto 10 Oct 2006 the Datastream code 901199 represents GUS (now renamed Home Retail Group)
- From 6 Oct 2006 the Datastream code 410124 represents Experian.
- From 10 Oct 2006 the Datastream code 901199 represents Home Retail Group.
While Datastream only allows you to search for an equity by its current name, you can find its previous name (DS datatype PNAME) and the date of last name change (DS datatype DNMC).
- Finding UK listed companies – try LSPD – if checking the previous name doesn’t identify the equity you want you can try LSPD for UK companies
- Finding inactive/dead companies on Datastream – make sure you are not searching for active companies only (includes another name change example)
*Strictly in Datastream you are searching for the equity that is primary quote of the major security of the company. Major security because some companies issue more that one type of equity and you want the most traded: e.g. Facebook and Google have A and B shares. Primary quote because many larger companies choose to list on more than one market/exchange. UK companies may have a primary quote in London and a secondary quote in the US.
The Financial Times image above is from the Financial Times Historical Archive (Gale).