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Finding inactive/dead companies on Datastream

One of the strengths of Datastream is that it provides historical data on inactive or dead companies, for example companies that are no longer listed following a takeover or merger.

When looking for inactive/dead companies you need to check your search status field because the Datastream Navigator default is for active companies only. In addition, you have to take care if there have been any name changes.

Datastream Navigator

DS Navigator - including inactive companies (click to expand)

If you are unable to find a company when searching by name, the problem may be because of a name change. For example:

  • Vodafone (dscode 953133) takes over Mannesmann (dscode 923256) – Nov 1999 (announced) to April 2000 (completed)
  • Mannesmann  changes its name to Vodafone AG (both dscode 923256) – Sept 2001
  • Therefore the Mannesmann pre-takeover data is available through a Datastream series Vodafone AG (dscode 923256) that no longer has the Mannesmann name.

You can check a series using the Datastream variables PNAME (previous name) DNMC (date of last name change) and CA5 (last 5 corporate actions).

If you have information about a merger or takeover that includes a company ISIN or SEDOL code then you can use this rather than the name in your DS Navigator search.

This post updates the Nov 2010 Information on inactive companies (Datastream)

Thanks to Thomas Wilkinson for pointing out the problems in finding the historical data for Mannesmann before it was taken over.

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  1. phate
    6 August 2012 at 9:11 am

    Dear author, I have a hopefully, very easy question about the different datastream company statuses: In my list I can find: delisted; dead – delisted; dead; merger; dead – merger; all these are followed by a date.
    My most important question is, if a company is considered dead, does it mean that the company is definitely bankrupt? And where is the difference between dead and dead -delisted? That would be very helpful!

  2. Joe
    23 January 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I need a list of inactive companies that became so in the last 5 years, how do I find the date the company went inactive on datastream?

    • markgreenwood
      23 January 2013 at 6:40 pm

      Datastream gives access to the Worldscope data item “Inactive date” (WC07015) but this will only be available for companies covered by Worldscope. There is also “Time – Latest Value” (TIME) in Key Datatypes that records “the date or time of the latest equity price data”.

      Unfortunately it is not possible to use these in a search criteria so to get those that became inactive in the last 5 years need to do a static request for a list and then sort the results to select the compnaies you want.
      DEADUK has 1473 entries with TIME after 01/01/2008 (527 have no value for WC07015)
      DEADUK has 1098 entries with WC07015 after 01/01/2008 (including some where TIME is significantly earlier that WC07015 – e.g. “TELMEX ‘L’ – DEAD 12/05/99” has TIME 19/11/1998 and WC07015 11/12/2012.

      Making a list of companies that became inactive in the last 5 years will require careful screening.

  3. Jimmy
    7 May 2013 at 7:57 am

    Dear author, I need a list of bankrupt companies that listed in UK and date of bankruptcy. How can I get such list on datastream if it is possible? Thank you.

    • markgreenwood
      7 May 2013 at 5:57 pm

      You can use a Datastream constituent list of UK companies – the status variable ESTAT will identify companies that are no longer listed but it is difficult to identify the reason for delisting – for some companies NAME will show that they have been taken over but that is all.
      You will need a different database to get a list of bankrupt companies that listed in the UK and the date of bankruptcy.

    • vadim
      27 February 2015 at 10:43 am

      Hey Jimmiy, I have exactly the same Issue, I also need to find bakrupt companies and the date they went bankrupt. Please let me know if you found how to do it and what database did you use if you solved the issue. I would greatly appreciate it! my email is vadim3108@yahoo.com

  4. Andrew
    5 April 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I am trying to create a list of the UK companies which were listed in the UK between 2000 and 2013 with a market cap of more than $10 million. I was wondering if you could give me a hint on how to perform this search?

    Thanks,
    xx.

    • markgreenwood
      7 April 2014 at 11:24 am

      Using Datastream you can use a static request including:
      DSCD – Datastream code
      EXDSCD – Exchange Datastream code (as a check)
      BDATE – Base date
      TIME – latest/final data of price data
      MV~U$ (on 31 Dec 2000) – market cap on 31 Dec 2000
      MV~U$ (on 31 Dec 2001) – market cap on 31 Dec 2001

      If you want UK companies that were listed in the UK and had a market cap more than $10 million over the period 2000 – 2013 then you would filter for results where BDATE < 01/01/2000 AND TIME > 31/12/2013 AND MV > 10 (for all your MVs)
      If you want UK companies that were listed in the UK and had a market cap more than £10 million at some time between 2000 – 2013 then your filter would be slightly different.
      You could apply your static request to either WSCOPEUK or FBRIT and DEADUK.
      (Since you are looking for large companies after 2000, I would expect them all to be covered by WSCOPEUK
      see https://bizlib247.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/all-uk-listed-companies-part-2/
      or https://bizlib247.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/all-uk-listed-companies-part-3/ for more detail)

  5. Tahir
    23 May 2014 at 6:19 am

    Can you please tell me how you deal with the dead firms. I am specifically concern when the firm become dead, how can we eliminate the rest of the series of the price.
    For example if a firm become dead on 15 June 2004, how you eliminate the series after 15 June 2004.

  6. Julien
    22 July 2014 at 12:36 am

    Good evening,

    I am currently writing my master thesis about the determinant of the capital structure for the French listed companie and the effect of the 2007 financial crisis. My sample period is 2002-2013 and I would like to download on datastream the name of all the French listed companies in 2002.

    Similar articles find more or less 1230 companies while I can only find the list for 550 companies by selecting CAC all share index.
    Is it better to use WSCOPEFR – Worldscope French coverage or maybe FFRA – Research FR list

    Could you just help me how to perform that?

    Thanks for your help

  7. Ahmad
    21 August 2014 at 8:31 pm

    how can we know were these dead companies where listed before they dead
    for example i am trying to figure out in which these UK dead companies were listed (In the AIM or main market) before they get delisted

    • markgreenwood
      27 August 2014 at 2:37 pm

      As far as I am aware, and I would love to be proved wrong, there is no way in Datastream of finding out whether dead companies were listed on the Main or AIM market before they delisted. For University of Manchester researchers I would recommend looking at LSPD as the best research-oriented database for UK companies – . The London Stock Exchange does have historical company lists from 1999 onwards but then you have to link on company names – follow link in

  8. Ahmad
    15 October 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Dear

    Hope this finds you well.
    I have another qustion, I am now looking for the Nasdaq firms, an i would like to ask if
    there is any option or way to get the NASDAQ dead companies list. or what is the best way to get this data.

    • markgreenwood
      16 October 2014 at 11:33 am

      You can get a NASDAQ dead companies list using the Datastream Navigator.
      In the Datastream Navigator select “Criteria Search” and then category Equities.
      I chose criteria:
      Status – Dead
      Exchange – Nasdaq
      Instrument Type – Equity
      Primary Quote Yes and Major Security Yes – to avoid multiple equities for a single company
      This gave me 3735 equities in the search results. (You might want slightly different criteria)
      You can export the results list to Excel, and then create one, or more, Datastream lists to retrieve further data.
      (WRDS is an alternative – again you would search for Nasdaq stocks that are inactive/dead)

  9. Renata
    23 October 2014 at 1:03 am

    First of all, thank you for your post. I find it extremely useful. I have a question regarding historically updated constituent list of Datastream country indices such as TOTMKUK. Is it possible to get such historically updated list of constituents which would include dead stocks? How can I do such request?

    • Phil Reed
      24 October 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Dear Renata, I have not been able to find historical lists of constituents for these indices, I don’t think they are available, sorry.

    • markgreenwood
      24 October 2014 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks – have added a brief comment to https://bizlib247.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/historical-index-constituents-e-g-sp-500/

      There is LFTALLSH that has a oldest constituent list Jan 1996 – LFTALLSH0196 – but that is not a solution for country indices in general.

  10. Issa Almaharmeh
    23 March 2015 at 9:36 am

    Thank you very much for your posts which is really very helpful, can you till me please how can I download data for UK dead and suspended companies for the period between 1990-2013?
    thank toy in advance

  11. Najeeba
    30 November 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I am using Worldscope database for UK firms. I am looking for a code that help me to know the date that company listed. I used code date of founded (WC18272) and date of incorporation (WC18273). However, for the firm one mostly all the dates are missing. For the date of incorporation, I think many dates do not make sense as the date of listed is recent, while there is a data for that firm before that. for example, for one firm the year of incorporation is 2014, while there are financial data for that firm in 2012.

    Could you pleas help to find code for the date of the firm listed first?

    Thanks and regards,
    Najeeba

  12. SM
    22 August 2017 at 8:29 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I was wondering if you could help me on how to find data for inactive companies via datastream or Thomson One that are on the London Stock Exchange, not including financial companies such as banks and those in the oil business… So only data for non-financial companies that have gone insolvent/dissolved between 2006 to 2016, which state the date of when the company has gone insolvent or last date of accounts. Additionally, is it possible to include the financials and the ratios of the companies alongside? My aim is to test Altmans Z-Score model for my thesis and compare to other models. Would really appreciate your help as this is part of my master thesis and I am unable to find the data I need to complete it.

    Many thanks and regards.

    • Mark Greenwood
      25 August 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Datastream includes data on inactive companies but does not always provide much on the reason for becoming inactive. There will sometimes be a comment if a company becomes inactive as the result of a takeover but often there is little more than the delisting date. See company-status-in-datastream/ LSPD does include a variable “reason for company death” but there is no equivalent on Datastream or Thomson One.

      Disclaimer: I am no longer at the University of Manchester – the above information is what I remember from this issue coming up before and is not endorsed by the Business Data Service.

  13. Emma
    25 August 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Hello,

    I am doing research in the UK main market. Is it possible to find the market of delisted/dead companies from Datastream? when I used the code “REMK”, it only says “DEAD”. but I need to learn that which dead companies are listed on the main market or AIM.

    • Mark Greenwood
      26 August 2017 at 10:46 am

      I’m afraid that I don’t think it is. The code “REMK” distinguishes Main and AIM for active companies but just gives “DEAD” if they are no longer active. LSPD does distinguish Main and AIM market companies – see LSPD on WRDS (inc Main or AIM market)

      Disclaimer: I am no longer at the University of Manchester – the above information is what I remember from this issue coming up before and is not endorsed by the Business Data Service.

  1. 7 June 2012 at 10:21 am
  2. 31 October 2012 at 5:53 pm
  3. 10 March 2014 at 5:28 pm
  4. 22 July 2014 at 7:35 pm
  5. 24 October 2014 at 6:59 pm
  6. 31 October 2014 at 1:16 pm

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