Mixed Bag

Mixed Bag
Mixed Bag

What’s in a name?

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” quoted William Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet; thereby implying that names do not really matter. This could not be farther from truth in the present times, when strategic acquisitions are made with a view to acquire a brand name. Chatting over a cup of coffee yesterday, a friend brought up the topic of SBC Communication’s acquisition of AT&T in 2005, followed by changing its name to AT&T Inc. SBC CEO Edward Whitacre had mentioned that they had factored the great name of AT&T & its strong worldwide brand in the acquisition decision. When a company is sold, it seeks to obtain a value over and beyond that of its tangible assets. This is referred to as `goodwill’ and can be thought of as a “premium” for buying a business over and above the fair value of the net tangible assets acquired. Firms sometimes pay large premiums for acquiring firms with valuable brand names because they believe that these brand names can be used for expansion into new markets. Conventionally the value of a brand has been regarded as part of goodwill, which arises only when a business is sold. As…

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