September 28, 2021

Deal Code Names: They’re Getting More Creative

A few years ago, I blogged about Intralinks’ list of top deal code names and concluded that, overall, dealmakers’ efforts were severely lacking in creativity.  This recent Intralinks blog setting forth the most unusual deal code names this year suggests that people are getting better at coming up with these. That being said, I think that Intralinks probably overlooked the “elephant in the room” when it discussed the likely reasons behind one deal team’s choice of a particular code word:

Sir Laurence Olivier first uttered the line, “Release the Kraken,” in the 1981 cult classic, Clash of the Titans. Nearly 30 years later, Time magazine included the phrase as one of its Top 10 Buzzwords of the Year after Liam Neeson’s more exuberant delivery of the phrase in the 2010 remake. Today, it’s become a sort of cultural shorthand for “all hell’s about to break loose.” Maybe a dealmaker had this in mind when project Kraken was named, calling to memory the Nordic (not Greek) mythical sea monster known for gobbling everything in sight. Maybe this deal was part of a multi-acquisitional strategy?

Yeah, I doubt it. I’m pretty sure that in 2021, this decision to use this particular code word had a lot more to do with Rudy & Sidney than with Larry & Liam.

John Jenkins