Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA’s “Way Back” Machines

Web-based company directories have many advantages over their print counterparts, but in one area they frequently fall short; they rarely include historical information. Financial databases of public companies such as Bloomberg, Thomson One, and S&P COMPUSTAT will include extensive historical financial data, but if you are looking for a private company’s address, product line, or executive names as of 1995, you would do better with a 20 year run of a printed directory than with its current online counterpart.  This pattern is changing as information vendors become aware of the market for historical company data. Two examples of corporate directory archives are the historical research sections of Corporate Affiliations and ReferenceUSA.

Corporate Affiliations shows the corporate structure of more than 1 million public and private companies world-wide with subsidiary listings and corporate linkage.  For more information please see:  Private Company Research Part 2:  Corporate Affiliations. The Historical Research module of the database gives company addresses, products, SIC numbers, names of executives and directors, and key financial data for every year from 1993 to date. As the menu below indicates, you can search by company name, or screen by one or more variables. A company (ENRON, for example) does not have to be in business currently to be included in the historical file. To reach the Historical Search menu, follow this path from the main Corporate Affiliations’ menu:

Subscriber Tools => Historical Search

Corp Affiliations History First Menu

 

 

 

 

The record for Motorola Solutions, Inc. shows how the data is presented for a single company.  Clicking on the date tabs (‘1993’ etc.) will include the data for that year in the output.

Corp Affiliations Historical 1

 

The historical treatment of changes in SICs and product descriptions will include as many as 14 SIC numbers and descriptions for each company.

Corrp Ailliations Historical 2

 

 

 

 

 

The company record for all years and all variables can be downloaded as a text .CSV format which EXCEL will read.

Here is the result of a screen for companies in Philadelphia in 1993.

Corp affiliation Phila

 

The WEB display of the results is only a small fraction of the EXCEL record, which will give details for all variables (SIC, executive name, financial data, etc.). If the entire date range is requested, the downloaded record will list the companies alphabetically and then give variable details for each year.

However, there is a display limit of 1,000 records per search.  For example, a search for all companies in France with data for all years will produce a set of more than 1,000 records, but only 1,000 records from the set will be displayed.

ReferenceUSA’s current company directory contains 24 million U.S. company records plus records for an additional 1.5 million Canadian companies. The database’s historical businesses  module contains 151 million U.S. company records from 2003 through 2013.

To see the menu below:

U.S. Historical Business Database => Custom Search

REfUSA Main Menu

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFUSA beer list 2003

For example, a screen for breweries (Primary NAICS 312120)  in Pennsylvania in 2003 will produce this display:

 

Clicking on an individual company name will display a record giving the 2003 address, phone, sales volume, employee size, SIC/NAICS codes, as well as graphs of sales volume and number of employees for all available years between 2003 and 2013.

Downloading the records in  EXCEL and requesting “detail” will display all the variables available for the company for the given year. However, there is a limit of 250 records per download.  Requesting all records for a company for the range of years (2003 – 2013) will give a line of data for each year. In this way, you can determine if a company changes its name during the ten year period. For example, the company listed as “Pittsburgh Brewing”  from 2003-2008 is listed as “Iron City Brewing” between 2009 and 2012 and then as “Pittsburgh Brewing” again in 2013.

Companies can be mapped by number of locations, employee or sales size and displayed as “heat maps”. For example, the heat maps below show the doubling of  the number of breweries in Pennsylvania  between 2003 and 2013 (from 27 locations to 69).

CombinedHeat

The  availability of  the “back files” of ReferenceUSA and Corporate Affiliations are an important step in filling the gap in digital historical directory information.

For additional information on company histories see this posting: Don’t Know Much About “Corporate” History.

Also see our Research Guides:  Company Information and Business History Resources.

 

Bloomberg’s PE: A Major Database for Private Equity

Private equity consists of firms and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies. Private equity, as the name implies, is not traded on public equity exchanges.PE bloomberg FIRST MENU

Bloomberg’s Private Equity (PE) database brings together data about PE firms, funds, investors and portfolios. In Bloomberg, type PE <GO> for this menu:

 

 

Search by Firm – Private equity firms are the general partners controlling the operations of the firm.

Search by Fund – Private equity firms direct their investments through one or more funds. Funds are associated with a specific investment strategy.  Venture Capital Funds, for example, are investments in startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. Here is a breakdown of the funds worldwide associated with a specific strategy that is available in Bloomberg.

Strategy           Percent of Total

==================

  • Venture              28%
  • Buyout               25%
  • Growth                9%
  • Debt                    8%
  • Fund of Funds   10%
  • Real Estate        13%
  • Other                   8%

Search by Limited Partners – Limited partners are the source of investment funds. They include public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, high net worth individuals, and sovereign wealth funds

Search by Deal – Deals can be classified as M&A investment, Joint venture, Spinoff, and Buyback, and then further sub classified as a PE buyout, Infrastructure, Real Asset, Real Estate, Secondary Transaction, or Venture Capital deal. Venture Capital deals include possible subdivisions into Seed, Angel, or Series (A to J).

The screen below shows a search for all PE deals in the past year that had targets in the alternative energy industry.

PE bloom deal screen for alternative eng 417

 

Search by Private Company – Bloomberg lists more than 15,000 companies in which PE firms invest.

  • Clicking on the name of the company will display a record giving the name(s) of the PE firms which include the company in their portfolio, as well as additional information about the company. The record for U.S. Foods, for example, will show that it is held by KKR 2006 Fund.

In addition to its list of PE backed private companies, Bloomberg includes a database of 1.3 million private companies worldwide that are not PE backed.

PE Bloom Private compnay ALL OKOther useful features of Bloomberg’s PE include Funds in Market, which gives aggregate statistics by strategy, and Benchmarking and Fund Comparison, which allow the comparison of funds by such features as IRR (internal rate or return).

Take a look also at Bloomberg’s weekly Private Equity Brief

PE Bloomberg Brief banner

PE Bloom table from PE brief

In addition to Bloomberg, the Penn Libraries have several additional databases that provide details of private equity activity. They include Thomson ONE, S&P Capital IQ (available at Lippincott in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab) , Preqin, and CB-Insights.

Also see our Research Guide:  Venture Capital and Private Equity.

For more information on Bloomberg see our Bloomberg Help Guide and additional posts in Datapoints under the Category:  Bloomberg.

ProwessDX – A NIFTY Database of India Company Financials

We’ve all heard of the NYSE and the S&P 500, but what are the BSE and the NIFTY?   

The ProwessDX database of Indian Company Financials has a few such unfamiliar acronyms. Once you get past them, you will find the database easy to navigate as well as comprehensive. Prowess is a database of the financial performance of 34,000 Indian companies. The database is updated continuously and typically covers the period 1990 on.

Annual Reports of companies and data available from India’s two largest stock exchanges (Bombay Stock Exchange, BSE, and the National Stock Exchange, NSE) are the principal sources of data. The database includes listed companies, unlisted public companies and private companies. Note: You will need to create a personal login account before searching. 

Search Prowess in Five Steps:

Step 1:  Choose the live (continuously updated) database, or a snapshot from March 2014 or December 2013. Prowess refers to these options as the database’s “vintage”.

Step 2: Select Data. The data may be either a pre-defined set, such as all companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange, an uploaded list of companies of your own choosing, or a created set using database identifiers.

Spelling out some of the acronyms will help clarify the choices in the menu below.

BSE = Companies in the Bombay Stock Exchange

NSE = Companies in the National Stock Exchange

SENSY – Companies in The Bombay Stock Exchange Index of 30 companies

NIFTY – Companies in The National Stock Exchange Index of 50 companies

COSPI = Companies in an Index of 2,312 Companies Continue reading

Private Company Research Part II: Corporate Affiliations

Continuing with our search for private company information, in this post we highlight another database that you can use to find private company information. Take a look at our previous post on researching private companies for a good place to find private company financials.

corporate-affiliationsr-logoCorporate Affiliations shows the corporate structure of more than 1 million public and private companies worldwide, with subsidiary listings and corporate linkage. Some important features of this database are:

 

Corporate Hierarchy

Corporate hierarchy shows the relationships among parents and subsidiaries. To find this information, search by company name. After selecting the company of interest, click on “Hierarchy” found in the left-hand menu. The screen below shows part of the corporate hierarchy of Bain Capital.

Corp Affiliation Bain Cap

Company Executives

Use this database to find detailed lists of executives, their titles and biographies. For example, you can search and retrieve executives worldwide who are Wharton graduates (there are more than 1,200). The screen below is a partial list of Wharton graduates who are officers in Chinese companies. Continue reading

A Little Privacy, Please: Finding Private Company Information

livingsocial Toys-R-Us-LogoThe shares of a private company are held by one or a few individuals, and are not traded publicly. In contrast, anyone can buy the shares of a public company. Private companies greatly outnumber public companies. More than 99% of the world’s companies are private.

The Penn Libraries subscribe to several databases with extensive information on private companies. The databases all provide, at some level of detail, company and business descriptions, industry classifications, and executive names. They differ in the range of companies, and executives offered, as well as the financial detail they give. All have distinctive features of value. Over the next few weeks, we will describe several databases that are useful for private company research.

ORBIS

Providing access to more than 100 million company records worldwide, ORBIS is the master index to the Bureau Van Dijk (BVD) suite of databases. The suite draws data from three types of files.

ORBIS

  • Subject Related Files: Zephyr for M&A deals, Bankscope, ISIS for Insurance
  • Country Specific Files:  including databases such as FAME for the U.K., QIN for China, and ICARUS for Canada and the U.S.
  • International Files: OSIRIS, for 70,000 listed companies worldwide

Private Companies with Financial Statements

Most private companies in the U.S. are not required to make their financial statements public. Continue reading

Bloomberg Highlights: Round 3

Bloomberg  Highlights is back again to show off more of what Bloomberg can do. For more highlights, take a look at Round 1 and Round 2.

Bloomberg Social Media Alert

Bloomberg measures the volume of postings about companies from StockTwits, Twitter, Yahoo Finance message boards, and other social media sites. A BSV alert is triggered by an unusually high number of social media postings regarding a company. Such alerts may be early warning signs of significant company events.

Type BSV and hit the green <GO> key. For individual company alerts, type a ticker (hit the equity key) and then type BSV and hit GO.

For example: F <EQUITY> BSV <GO>

Here is a graph of the velocity alerts of Ford Motor Company showing an unusual pattern of social media alerts.

Bloomberg Velocity graph

Private Company Information

Although Bloomberg is primarily a source of financial information about public companies, it does list information about several hundred private companies. These are private companies that have public debt. To see if a company is covered by Bloomberg, type the name of the company into the command line and hit the yellow <Equity> key.

For example, typing Cargill into the command line will bring up a four page company description with links to the company’s financial data. Continue reading