AFPM '13: INEOS explains how it came up with company name

25 March 2013 18:40  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS)--Two dictionaries and an initial acquisition led to INEOS's company name when it was first established 15 years ago, its CEO said on Monday.

Nowadays, all of the normal company names are taken so new ones usually have to make up words, said INEOS chairman Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe made his comments in answer to questions following his acceptance of the 17th Petrochemical Heritage Award from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, which was presented at the 38th International Petrochemical meeting (IPC), held by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

Ultimately, Ratcliffe hit a deadline, he said. "The lawyers said, we need a name on Monday. I think it was Friday."

On Saturday morning, Ratcliffe went to a nearby book shop with his sons, who were 10 and 12 at the time, he said. There, he bought two dictionaries, one in Latin and one in Greek.

The three then started working on a name for the company, he said. "10 year olds and 12 years olds are of no value in this situation whatsoever."

Ultimately, Ratcliffe came up with one word that packed a lot of meaning.

The Swiss-headquartered company's first acquisition was a complex that made ethylene oxide (EO) and specialty chemicals. Since the new company's business was in EO and specialties, an appropriate name was INEOS, for IN EO and Specialties.

The dictionaries then came into play.

"Neo" is Latin, and it means "to begin a new life", Ratcliffe said, while "eos" is Greek for "innovation".

The AFPM conference ends on Tuesday.

By: Al Greenwood
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