Rash of name changes fuelled by globalisation

The increase in corporate name changes is being fuelled by the globalisation of business and vastly increased mergers and acquisition activity, according to a global survey by Enterprise IG.

The UK was the second most active market in the world after the US, with 250 major corporate rebrands. There were 2976 in the US, up 9 per cent on last year.

The survey, which covers corporate name changes in 57 countries, found 3893 examples of company name changes worldwide, the bulk of which were prompted by mergers and acquistions and corporate consolidation. Some 2054, or 53 per cent, were the result of merger or acquisition activity.

Enterprise IG joint chief executive officer Jim Johnson comments, “The continued globalisation of corporations and their market is driving an accelerating need for name changes, despite the difficulties posed by cultural, linguistic and trademark challenges.

“Part of the impetus comes from the large amount of corporate mergers and consolidations taking place.”

The highest rate of change of 40 per cent came in the financial services sector, which includes BNP Paribas, created by the merger of Banque Nationale de Paris and Paribas, and Zurich Financial Services, formerly known as Zurich Allied Insurance.

The communications industry came second with 20 per cent, while the transportation sector saw the smallest amount at 1 per cent of the total.

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