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Finding acquired companies

Researchers often need to find data on companies that are no longer listed (i.e. dead or inactive companies). Often searching by name will be sufficient, but occasionally further investigation is needed.

Searching for RBS Citizens Financial Group onThomson Reuters Datastream gives some results but none of them equities. Knowing that I am looking for a company acquired by RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland Group) perhaps RBS Citizens Financial Group is the name used after the acquisition.

Datastream capital issues and changes report (click to expand)

Datastream capital issues and changes report (click to expand)

Searching for citizens financial group gives an equity, Datastream code (DScode) 923677 now dead, as expected, with the last valid price data for O3 Jan 1989.

Now Datastream does not contain information on deals (mergers, acquisitions, IPOs, etc.) but limited information is often available in the “Capital Issues and Changes” report.  For 923677 this gives “Takeover (effective) by cash … offer made by a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland” on 16 Dec 1988.

This may be enough to confirm that I have found the DScode needed to get price or return data for the acquired company before the deal. However, to double-check we look for the deal information in Thomson ONE.com.

Using Screening & Analysis -> Deals & League Tables -> Advanced Search and selecting All Mergers & Acquisitions.

Now the RBS group is large, and the acquiror in the database might be a subsidiary so my first few searches fail.

TONE.com deal tearsheet (click to expand)

TONE.com deal tearsheet (click to expand)

I change and find that lots of companies have names starting “citizens financial”. I select all the ones that are US companies as the potential target and the deal effective date as December 1988.

I get just one result and the predefined Deal Basics Report gives quick access to the deal tearsheet. “Royal Bank of Scotland acquires Citizens Financial Group,RI for US$440M

  • Date announced – March 18 1988
  • Date effective – December 16 1988
  • Deal value – 440 Million US$
  • (SDC) Deal Number – 23691020

The fact that Datastream had price data until Jan 3 1989 though the deal was effective Dec 16 1988 is due to the details of how the shares were removed from the exchange. There would be minimal price change, and probably minimal trading volume, between these dates.

Previous posts featuring hard to find companies

Finding inactive/dead companies on Datastream (Feb 2012) – Vodafone takeover of Mannesman

Datastream – coping with name changes (Oct 2012)  – Carlton and Granada merge becoming ITV


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