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Is that company public or private?

Yesterday we had a presentation from our Bureau van Dijk representative on FAME and Orbis. One of the strengths of these two databases is that they both cover public and private companies. ( Fame all UK and Irish registered companies and Orbis the largest 250,000 companies worldwide on the University of Manchester subscription )

Is the italian airline Alitalia public or private? (A student query from last week)

Using Orbis, as we know it is not a UK company, we can search for companies with “alitalia” in their name.

We find :

  • ALITALIA COMPAGNIA AEREA ITALIANA SPA – BvD ID number ITRM1225709 – a private company, Italy’s biggest airline that brought the trademark and some assets of the bankrupt Alitalia – Linee Aeree Italiane
    (Screenshot – Industry and overview, Full overview below)
  • ALITALIA LINEE AEREE ITALIANE S.P.A. – BVD ID number ITRM0135156 – a formerly public quoted company that is now a controlled subsidiary of ALITALIA COMPAGNIA AEREA ITALIANA SPA.

Because Orbis is based on company registrations it can be used to browse a company hierarchy of shareholders/owners and subsidiaries. This information is often not available, or difficult to find, on databases based on public companies and their listing on stock exchanges (e.g. Bloomberg, Datastream, Thomson One)

Orbis Alitalia (click to expand)

Orbis report Alitalia CAI SpA (click to expand)

Alitalia shareholders back £255 million cash call (Reuters news 15 Oct 2013) does on first reading give the impression that Alitalia is a public (quoted) company, but private companies can have shareholders too – it is the listing of shares on an exchange for public dealing that matters.

For more about Orbis see the June 2012 post FAME and Orbis for company identification, read the Orbis database guide, or use the Orbis tag below for further tips.

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  1. Kate.P
    30 October 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I just did an EQS (Equity Screening) on Bloomberg and they have 668,205 companies in their database globally, both public and private. I can alse look at their company structure on the debt distribution page too.

    • markgreenwood
      30 October 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Strictly, EQS (Equity Screening) on Bloomberg have 668,205 securities not companies. Of these almost 200,000 securities are for the almost 70,000 companies that are currently actively traded on exchanges worldwide. (My EQS default is for active securities and then the primary security for each company.) EQS can also have multiple securities for companies that are delisted – for example there are 21 securities for the delisted Alitalia.

      For public companies Bloomberg is excellent and for some private ones too – e.g. the debt distribution function you mention. However for some private and some delisted companies Bloomberg has only brief information – it often does not have recent company accounts.

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