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Project Blue most popular M&A project name of 2016, says Intralinks

The most popular M&A deal project name in 2016 was Project Blue, according to Intralinks, a provider of virtual data rooms for M&A transactions.

Intralinks analysed almost 5,000 transactions in 2016 – all of which used an Intralinks Virtual Data Room – revealing that Project Blue, Project Diamond and Project Falcon were the top three most popular choices of code name. 
Compared to 2015, the highest climbers in the league table were Project X, climbing from number 38 to number seven, and Project Sapphire, up from number 153 to number nine. Five of the top 10 in 2016 also featured in the 2015 list: Blue, Falcon, Diamond, Eagle and Green.
Matt Porzio, VP strategy and product marketing at Intralinks, says: “In 2016, dealmakers are still using the same – or similar – project names to the 2015 list. For under-pressure junior bankers working on multiple deals, mistaking one Project Blue with another Project Blue could result in the sharing of confidential information with the wrong person. Names like ‘Panther,’ ‘Lion’ and ‘Eagle’ may denote dexterity, purpose and skill, but if used too much, they are – at a minimum uninspired – but worse yet could result in confusion and uncertainty.”
In addition to the most popular deal names, Intralinks examined the most creative and adventurous name choices, revealing dealmakers are reverting to James Bond, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Game of Thrones for inspiration. Examples include Project Jedi, Project Lannister, Project Wolverine, Project Superman, Project Rocky, Project Gandalf, Project Goldfinger and Project Gryffindor.
“If you think about it, associating a powerful word in popular culture with a demanding deal process injects a bit of humour into a very stressful situation. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Game of Thrones references can certainly inspire amusing conversations,” says Porzio.

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