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Finding Scottish companies with FAME

With the referendum on Scottish independence this Thursday (19 September 2014) there is much news and debate on the potential impact on businesses of a yes vote (BBC News, 2014a, 2014b). To research further you could use the Fame database to identify Scottish companies.

FAME, from Bureau van Dijk, covers UK public and private companies and has a very good search interface for selecting companies. We can select companies by location and one of the options for giving a location is country.

We select “Scotland” as the country. The country search page clarifies that this means companies with a registered office address or a primary trading address in Scotland. (These defaults can be changed – for example if we only wanted companies with their registered address in Scotland.)

From a Fame search the largest Scottish companies by operating revenue (turnover) are given in the screenshot below.


FAME uses a standard set of variables and orders then by operating revenue as its default view of a result list. This can be changed by adding extra variables as required, and by selecting the arrows next to the variable names to reorder. In the screenshot two extra variables have been added: Listed/Unlisted/Delisted and BvD independence indicator.

The Listed/Unlisted variable shows the companies that are Listed (Public) companies – that is have shares/stocks traded on a stock exchange – and those that are Unlisted (Private) companies. The largest private Scottish company is Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited – eighth largest by operating revenue. One of the strengths of FAME is that it includes both public and private companies.

This search also used “Ownership – BvD independence indicator” to refine the search and remove subsidiaries from the results list. An ownership search criteria was added to the Scottish location criteria. This was that companies had to have a BvD independence indicator of A or B, or be listed companies.


BBC News (2014a) “Scottish independence: Price warning letter due as business row intensifies”, Available at  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29169114 (Accessed 15 September 2014)

BBC News (2014b) “Scottish independence: Business row marks weekend campaign”, Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29186106 (Accessed 14 September 2014)

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