Posts Tagged ‘Orbis’

Is that company public or private?

30 October 2013 2 comments

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.

Categories: company information Tags:

From website to company – e.g. ClickandBuy

25 January 2013 1 comment

You want to find the company behind a website. Sometimes there will be an “About us” page – often there will be a footer at the bottom of the pages – and any ‘terms and conditions’ can also be useful.

What you are looking for is the official name of the company, and ideally a company registration number.

For our example the “About us” page includes a footer that mentions “ClickandBuy International Limited is authorised by the Financial Services Authority” and the terms and conditions include

the Service, is operated by ClickandBuy International Ltd (“Us” / “We” / “Our“), a company registered in England with company number 5661160

ClickandBuy E-Money Account Terms of Use from (retrieved 25 January 2013)

This means that we can check a UK company database:

For a non-UK company there is Orbis:

For quoted (public) companies there are additional options:

For going from company to website, databases Fame and Orbis include a website variable.

You can try using the website name as a search variable in Fame, but the legal structure of companies can be complex. For example, search for “” will give several results. The global ultimate owner (GUO) is GONDOLA INVESTMENTS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP INCORPORATED is whose subsidiaries PIZZAEXPRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED is the direct owner of PIZZAEXPRESS (FRANCHISES) LIMITED  and PIZZAEXPRESS LIMITED is the direct owner of PIZZAEXPRESS (RESTAURANTS) LIMITED. [Fame database accesses 26 March 2013]

Categories: Business Databases Tags: ,

Company ownership data

28 August 2012 1 comment

There have been several recent articles in the financial press on the impact of the Qatari stake in Xstrata on the outcome of the proposed merger of Glencore and Xstrata.

Bloomberg ownership example

Top 3 current holders for Xstrata from Bloomberg (click to expand)

The main sources are: Bloomberg Professional, Thomson One Banker – ownership, Orbis, FAME (UK cos) and WRDS – Thomson Reuters (US cos).

While some shareholder information is publicly available, since large shareholders and directors have to declare dealings to the markets it is not easily available in a research-friendly format.

The commercial providers of ownership data tend to provide data for users who are interested in the current ownership of a single company or a small portfolio. They also collect data from as many sources as possible: large shareholders who have to report their holdings, institutional owners who report the largest holdings in their funds, and director dealings that can be large or small. (The exception if the Thomson Reuters database in WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services) – this is more research-friendly but only covers US companies.)

With ownership data researchers need to carefully check what is available and how easily it can be collected.

FAME and Orbis for company identification

21 June 2012 5 comments

FAME,  from Bureau van Dijk, provides information on all UK and Irish registered companies. It covers public (quoted) and private companies: over 2.8 million active companies and 4.2 inactive companies on 05 June 2012.

[April 2014] University of Manchester now has Amadeus rather than Orbis. Amadeus provides information on over 450,000 very large and large companies in western and eastern Europe.

Orbis, also from Bureau van Dijk, provides information on very large companies worldwide. It covers public (quoted) and private companies: 260,563 total, including 62,135 publicly listed and 165,882 with detailed financials available on 21 June 2012. [For full definition of coverage:  see Help -> Orbis User Guide -> Data details -> Coverage – Company size categories (we subscribe to Very large companies – VL). For latest numbers: see  Help -> Coverage.]

Get started – see our  Fame 2011 guide and Orbis 2011 guide

Tips from our Bureau van Dijk representative (

  • The Help link (top right) gives access to the user guide, which has function and data definitions, a set of quick tour videos, tips of the day and what’s new.
  • The spanner symbol indicates that you can modify the list format to include just the variables that you require and then export the results as a spreadsheet. You can also choose to have absolute rather than relative years.
  • In the Directors / Managers / Contacts session of a company report, you can select an individual to get details of all their positions.
  • In the shareholders and subsidiaries sections of a company report, you get the data on where a company fits within the overall corporate group. Selecting Report format -> Ownership report gives this in text and an ownership structure diagram.
  • The web interfaces of FAME and Orbis  are very similar so once you know one you can easily use them both.

    Orbis company list airlines (click to expand)

The Orbis screenshot above shows results from a search for scheduled airlines worldwide. The options to change the columns displayed are highlighted, e.g. the operating revunue for 2010 has been added. The highlighted result is for the company Virgin Atlantic Airlines Limited which is a subsidiary of Virgin Group Holdings Limited – both private companies.

A key feature of FAME and Orbis  is that they cover both public (quoted) and private companies. Their target market is to help in the identification of companies who might be your customer, supplier, or even employer.

If you are researching public (quoted) companies then you should also consider the databases that cover these companies from a financial market perspective, e.g. Bloomberg, Datastream, Thomson Research, Thomson One Banker. (See previous post  Company Financial Analysis.)

More tips:

How to Target and Research Potential Employers

13 June 2011 1 comment

The MBS Library Service provides access to key resources and databases which can assist you with your job search, interview preparation and Career development plan.

Careers Guides

Find publications relating to your career developemnt eg. Managing your career, CV/Interview preparation and tips on networking techniques, via the Library Catalogue.

Company Research Databases

Use the databases located in the “Databases” section of the Library’s “E-Resources” page to:

  • Target Listings of UK/International companies
  • Locate details of top companies in specific sectors
  • Research latest company developments 

Target and Research Companies: Access FAME/ORBIS

  • Identify and create target sector lists for UK/International companies
  • Establish top companies/key competitors in specific markets/sectors
  • Examine and Compare Financial performance of companies
  • Analyse a company’s performance against key competitors
  • Examine Corporate structures, board members and key contacts

Research Company News and Developments: Access FACTIVA

  • Enhance your background knowledge for applications and interviews
  • Examine latest company/industry developments from leading global news and trade publications
  • Examine the impact of the latest political/economic events on companies/industries
  • Up to 20 years of news updated daily

Other Library Databases  

  • Research Market Analysis – Access Mintel, Keynote, Passport GMIDFrost and Sullivan, providing detailed tailored analysis for international and consumer markets . See the “Markets and Sectors” section of the Library Databases page.
  • Create Company/Industry Capsules – Access Business Source Premier (Business Searching Interface) providing brief company/industry snapshots for key international companies and markets. See the “Management Literature” section of the Library Databases page.

Specialist Databases: Access BLOOMBERG (available for use within the Eddie Davies Library)

  • Locate essential data within the “Bloomberg Careers Centre”
  • Provides the Facility to search for Jobs/Recruiters by region
  • Details upcoming Job Related Events
  • Lists latest Job Postings

Additional Sources: VAULT (Online Careers Portal)

In addition to the Library databases on offer, MBS students have access to an online careers portal via their own career service. Vault provides:

  • Online career development guides
  • Occupational profiles
  • Articles and online videos offering career/personal development advice.

To access Vault contact your University Careers Service adviser

Further Information on how to find, access and search any of the library databases detailed within this guide can be found on the Library’s E-Resources page.

The Library is providing a season of Open Training programmes over the Summer including sessions in July on Targeting and Researching Potential Employers

A detailed guide which expands further on the information provided above is also available via the Library Web-site.   

PI Navigator for Glencore IPO prospectus

Yesterday, we had a presentation on PI Navigator (aka Perfect Information) – a database providing access to company filings (annual reports, IPO prospectuses, director share dealings …) with worldwide coverage.

The Perfect Information (PI) team were very proud at being the first database to make the Glencore IPO prospectus available. (The prospectus is over 1600 pages, so they had to split it into two parts. See image below)

PI Navigator

PI Navigator – recent Glencore filings – Click to enlarge

The Glencore IPO has been much in the news recently. The size means that the company will become one of the largest UK listed companies, and therefore a member of the FTSE 100 at its next revision. (As one of the largest companies worldwide information on Glencore is also available through the Orbis database.)

For more information on PI Navigator, see previous blog post:

How to Research Global Company Data

4 April 2011 2 comments

We have a wide range of information available to you connected to the Research of Global Company data focusing on areas such as:

  • Company Financials: Examine up to ten years worth of Financial Data. For example, analyse the share price growth of Toyota Motor over the last decade. Research over 60,000 Public International quoted Companies.

Access:  Thomson One Banker  

  • Target Sector Listings: Track a comapny’s performance against their key competitors. Research the top 230,000 international public/private companies across 200 countries.

Access: Orbis 

  • Investment Analysis: Gain an insider’s view from leading International Investment banks. For eaxmple, discover how Credit Suisse, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley rate China’s leading Petroleum provider. View analysis reports for over 60,000 companies.

Access: Thomson Research

  • Market Analysis:  Develop an understanding of International Markets.

    Monitor global companies in the daily news and view data feeds from the world’s stock exchanges. Create a graph or chart based display of,  for example, Exon Mobil’s revenue growth.

Access: Datastream, Bloomberg

  • Company/Industry News: Monitor company or industry developments from leading global news sources. Up to twenty years of daily updated news is available. For example examinehow the World’s press reacted to the latest Samsung Electronics trading figures statement.

Access: Factiva

Fortune 500

The Fortune 500 list of top US companies is published annually by the Fortune magazine.

After a little investigation it turns out that we don’t have a database that gives direct access to a list of the Fortune 500 companies. The list covers both public/quoted and private companies so databases of quoted companies (e.g. Datastream) will miss some entries.

It is possible to use Orbis, and search for US companies with a turnover/revenue more than say 4,000,000 (thousand $US) for 2009. The results will not match the Fortune 500 exactly. The databases may adjust turnover figure differently: Berkshire Hatahway has 107 $bn on Fortune list only 25.8 $bn on Orbis. In addition, the Orbis list will include subsidiaries that are registered separately.

A list of Fortune 500/1000 companies is freely available on the web at but this only gives the basic data from the Fortune list.