Shareholder types in BVD databases

Many of the databases of Bureau Van Dijk (BVD) allow you to call up information on the ownership of companies. When you call up a full report for a company in the database it is possible to go to a specific report with historical information on shareholders. Not only does it list the shareholders, but also percentages of ownership, month and year of the information, and type of ownership. Below you see an example screenshot for a company from the REACH database:

The type of shareholder is indicated in this overview with letters: A, B, C, etc. You can adjust the presentation of the type of information presented using the option Filters at the top of the list at the Options. You can also view a subsset of the available types of shareholders:

Unfortunately the list only shows letters and the filter option do not tell you which letters represent what types. If you do some further research in the online support/help information you can find out which letters stand for what types. Below you find an overview in the Dutch and English Languages:

Dutch Translation (used in REACH):
A = Verzekeringsmaatschappij
B = Bank
C = Handel- & Industrie-organisatie
D = Naamloze particuliere aandeelhouders, geaggregeerd
E = Beleggings- & pensioenfonds / Nominee / Trust / Trustee
F = Financiële instelling
I = Eén of meer bij naam genoemde individu(en) of familie(s)
J = Stichting / Onderzoeksinstituut
L = Ander naamloze aandeelhouders, geaggregeerd
M = Werknemers / Managers / Directeuren
P = Private Equity firma’s
S = Overheidsinstantie / Staat / Regering
V = Durfkapitaal
Y = Hedgefondsen
Z = Beursgenoteerde bedrijven

English Translation (used in Amadeus, Bankscope, etc.):
A = Insurance company
B = Bank
C = Trade & Industry organisation
D = Nameless private stockholders, aggregated
E = Mutual & Pension fund / Nominee / Trust / Trustee
F = Financial company
I = One or more named individuals or families
J = Foundation / Research Institute
L = Other named shareholders, aggregated
M = Employees/Managers/Directors
P = Private Equity firms
S = Public authority/State/Government
V = Venture Capital
Y = Hedge funds
Z = Public (Publicly listed companies)

MINT/ORBIS Additional categories:
H = Self ownership
Q = Branch

NB: In the help section it is also possible to get some definitions for some of these catagories (see the Orbis/Mint ownership specific ownership section).


Changing dates using Excel

When you download information from databases to use for research it may sometimes be necessary to calculate new dates based on the original dates. An example is event studies where you want to do research within certain time periods. Excel considers dates to be numbers: number 1 stands for 1-1-1900 12:00:00 AM. As dates are numbers you can, for instance, add or substract a certain number of days using numbers. I used an example of this for event studies when in previous posts I explained how to use the Datastream tool Request Table.

Changing dates on a larger scale this way is possible too but it is not as easy because you would have to calculate how many numbers are necessary for calendar months (28-29, 30 or 31) or calendar years (365). Another method is using Excel to extract the part of the date you want to change and then recombine the old and new parts into a new date.

  1. If you have a large dataset with many dates and you want to calculate a date which lies exactly two years further in time. Create column B with only the years of the original date using the function =Year()
  2. Create column C and Add 2 to the years in column B to create new years using =Cell+2
  3. Now create columns D and E with the Months and days of the original date using the functions =Month() and =Day()
  4. Create new dates in column F using the function =DATE(C2;D2;E2)

I did a test using a date from a leap year 2004, specifically the 29th of February, and Excel correctly translated this date to 1st of March 2006. It looks like excel knows what to do in these cases. Unfortunately, when I tested changing 1-3-2002 it did not get me 29th of February 2004! It may be a good idea to check the dataset if you expect that these dates may cause problems. Depending on how exact the dates need to be for research you can, of course, always add x times 365 days to calculate dates too =Cell+(365*2). Example:


M&A related private equity activities

One of the databases of Thomson Reuters that can be searched using the SDC Platinum software (and also through the web-based Thomson One) is the VentureXpert database. It contains information on Venture Captial and Portfolio companies as well as statistics.

Another SDC database is the Mergers & Acquisitions database. Through this database it is also possible to get information on private equity investments. The M&A database has the variable called Venture_type_code and it is used to indicate when an M&A deal involves private equity or a venture captital firm or fund. Below you see a full description of the variable.

In combination with a region or nation variable for the acquiror (and/or target) it is possible to find out more about private equity investment activity in nations or across nations. It is also possible to find out in what type of M&A activity private equity companies are involved.


Compustat North America & Auditors

The last few post-crisis years there has been a lot of criticism of auditors who audit company accounts. This makes it interesting to find out more about them. For companies in the United tates a good and easy to use database that lists auditors and more data is Audit Analytics (see previous posts). If you are interested in just brief information on auditors it is also possible to use Compustat North America. The information is available through the part database Fundamentals Annual.

One of the Auditor items is the variable that lists the name: AU — Auditor. Other items are: AUL3 — Assets Level3 (Unobservable), AUOP — Auditor Opinion, AUOPIC — Auditor Opinion – Internal Control, RMUM — Auditors´s Remuneration. The auditor name information for this database only goes back to 1996 for International companies. For domestic companies (USA) more historical data may be available.

When you select the Autor Name variable (AU) you get a code for the auditor in your download. The code corresponds to the name of an auditor. In the manual or help information you can find out which codes represent which auditors. Here you find the codes for the “big four”:

  • 04 Ernst & Young (Ernst & Whinney from July 1, 1989 to September 29, 1989; Ernst & Ernst prior to July 1, 1989)
  • 05 Deloitte & Touche (Deloitte, Haskins and Sells prior to December 4, 1989; Haskins & Sells prior to May 1, 1978)
  • 06 KPMG (Peat, Marwick, Mitchell prior to April 1, 1987)
  • 07 PricewaterhouseCoopers (Price Waterhouse prior to July 1, 1998 merger with Coopers and Lybrand)