BTR and Siebe pay pounds 500,000 to become Invensys

BTR SIEBE, the merged automation and controls group, yesterday joined the growing band of companies which are adopting meaningless new names by announcing that it is henceforth to be known as Invensys.

The name was chosen after a four-month trawl through 3,000 possibles. The exercise has cost shareholders pounds 500,000 -- of which pounds 400,000 has gone on legal search fees and pounds 100,000 to pay the corporate rebranding gurus, Interbrand, Newell and Sorrell.

The company whittled down the 3,000 possible names to a shortlist of five, which was then put to a secret ballot of the board and its 50 most senior executives.

Lord Marshall, the chairman of BTR Siebe, declined to say whether Invensys was the name he voted for. But he was said to be "very happy" with the result of the ballot.

Invensys, which is apparently suggestive of innovation, inventiveness and BTR Siebe's drive towards systems solutions, was "head and shoulders" above the alternatives, a spokesman added.

He conceded that one option would have been to keep the existing name but neither BTR nor Siebe were strong enough brands in themselves, unlike, say, Honeywell and Siemens.

The name change is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary meeting in April.