Corporate Name Changes Drop In 2002

Everything else seemed to dip in 2002, so it's no surprise corporate name changes fell as well. According to the 33rd annual survey of corporate name changes by consultants Enterprise IG, the worldwide tally of new corporate names dropped from 3,602 in 2001 to 2,346 in 2002. "Corporate name changes track with the overall economy," says Jim Johnson, CEO, Enterprise IG, New York. "M&A levels, IPOs and new marketing initiatives are the main drivers of corporate name changes, and all of these activities continue to be soft." The survey noted several new names resulting from mergers or new branding efforts: Conoco and Phillips Petroleum became ConocoPhillips; Deloitte Consulting became Braxton; Miller Brewing, acquired by South African Breweries, became SABMiller; KPMG Consulting became Bearing Point. As in the past, financial business accounted for the largest number of new names, totaling 40%; communications companies came in second with 15%; and manufacturing came in third with 12%. (Energy and health care rounded out the list.) Non-U.S. companies accounted for 30% of the list, while California led the United States with the most corporate name changes: 146.

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