Bye-bye cool tickers? DNA and BUD head for bin


Pity the guys who dreamt up two of Wall Street’s coolest tickers — DNA and BUD — both of which look set to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Genentech grabbed the three letters synonymous with biotechnology by being in on the ground floor of the gene revolution. Anheuser-Busch was lucky enough to have a beer brand known everywhere by one syllable. Now both look doomed. dna-global-logo.gif

Genentech faces a $43.7 billion bid from Roche for the 44 percent of the Californian biotech group that it doesn’t already own. Genentech is expected to succomb, albeit after a possibly sweetened offer. Anheuser has already agreed to a $52 billion takeover by InBev.

Their demise may take some of the fun out of stock trading – but investors shouldn’t despair. The thoughtful punter still has other options. sothebys.jpg

For example:

BID for auctioneer Sotheby’s

HOG for Harley-Davidson

TAP for brewer Molson Coors

JAVA for Sun Microsystems

CAR for Avis Budget

PZZA for pizza company Papa John’s

BLUD for blood test group Immucor

LUV for Southwest Airlines (after its Love Field airport in Dallas)

LVB for Steinway Musical Instruments (after Ludwig van Beethoven)

LIZ for Liz Claiborne

harley-davidson.jpgPUB for Britain’s Punch Taverns

WOOF for pet healthcare provider VCA Antech…does that take the biscuit?

Loose lips sink deals

loose-lips2.jpgMuch as we journalists depend on leaks from companies, bankers and M&A lawyers, new research suggests that they might be better off keeping their mouths shut.

A study by IntraLinks and the Cass Business School in London found that only 49 percent of deals that get leaked to the media actually close, compared with 72 percent of non-leaked deals.

The study, which reviewed more than 350,000 mergers and acquisitions between 1994 and 2007, found that the premium paid by a buyer in a leaked deal was, on average, 13 percent lower than in non-leaked deals. That ran against the assumption by some sellers that news of a pending bid might attract rival suitors and increase the price, the researchers said.