Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse in the marriage of two former internet darlings, Yahoo! (YHOO) and Verizon's (VZ - Get Report) AOL unit go and completely... Tronc (TRNC) themselves.
The two companies revealed late Monday that once their $4.48 billion merger is complete the combined company would be called "Oath." The announcement comes after Yahoo said in January that it would rename assets not being sold to Verizon (namely its stake in Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) and Yahoo! Japan) Altaba Inc., and trade under the ticker AABA.
Okay, but where does the new name rank among the pantheon of ridiculous company names? TheStreet isn't sure, but it must be up there with American Outdoor Brands (AOBC - Get Report) —former gunmaker Smith & Wesson—or the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing—or Tronc as it is now referred to after a June rebranding.
Doesn't anyone hire marketing firms anymore?
Anyway, even as we ponder Tronc, American Outdoor and now Oath, TheStreet must also consider other entertaining (or annoying, depending on your perspective) company names in recent history:
Mondelez International (MDLZ - Get Report) spun off from Kraft Foods, now Kraft Heinz (KHC - Get Report) , in 2012. The name is a loose translation of the phrase, "delicious world," found in several Romance languages.
The Delaware-based manufacturing company was founded in 1961 as Custom Service Chemicals and adopted its current name, a portmanteau of Analytical Technology, in 1964. Nice job, guys.
The German engineering giant generated revenues of €75.6 billion (then worth about $83 billion) for its 2015 fiscal year. They're German, but should we still give them a pass?
Pretty good marketing it seems, but will investors warm to the idea?
American Outdoor is down about 5% year-to-date, with its stock trading around $20 per share in early April. The company has a market cap of $1.16 billion and sales of about $780 million.
When Verizon closes the $4.48 million purchase of Yahoo!'s operating business, the New York telecom plans to rebrand the digital business containing the iconic Internet brand and the AOL under the name Oath.
In French it means "night owl," which we at TheStreet kind of enjoy. But, in English it doesn't sound so great.
Alimentation Couche-Tard, based in Quebec and listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is known simply as Couche-Tard, French for "night owl." Couche-Tard is a convenience store operator which recently announced plans to purchase American rival CST Brands (CST) for $3.7 billion.
Romulus, Mich.-based Federal Screw Works (FSCR) makes machine parts including locknuts, bolts, piston pins, studs, bushings, shafts and other machined metal parts.
PricewaterhouseCoopers acquired the consulting company formerly known as Booz & Co. in 2013 and changed its name the following year. Strategy& is pronounced "strategy and." It's not PwC's first foray into strange names: in 2002 the accounting firm named its consulting arm Monday. IBM (IBM - Get Report) then acquired Monday for $3.5 billion. Strategy& is no relation to Taxand and beats it out because of its ampersand.
Software company Splunk (SPLK - Get Report) went public in 2012. Last week, it reported that second-quarter revenues increased 43% year over year to $212.8 million, a net loss of $86.6 million, or 65 cents a share.
C'mon, what did you expect to see here?
On June 2 Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times announced that it would rebrand itself as "tronc." The rebranding was much maligned and has been trashed since, though Tronc (TRNC) continues to fight larger battles.
From the June 2 statement:
"Tronc, or tribune online content, captures the essence of the Company's mission. tronc pools the Company's leading media brands and leverages innovative technology to deliver personalized and interactive experiences to its 60 million monthly users. The name change will become effective on June 20, 2016."