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Quiz: Can you guess which company owns these brands?

  • Quiz: Can you guess which company owns these brands?

    Here’s an experiment: Type “merger” into a Google News search. Yes, like teenagers at summer camp, businesses seem to seek new partners all the time. Just recently, Fiat Chrysler and French automaker PSA Group began negotiations to combine their assets, as did Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Happy with your T-Mobile cellular service, but worried what a merger with Sprint will mean for the market? Switching to another provider could just mean more questions, as merger rumors frequently circulate around most big-name companies.

    With so much rapid change going on in the business world, Stacker decided to create a quiz with 50 popular brands and the companies that own them. Using various sources to find background history, financial data, and other similar brands, we put this information into a quiz format, where the "clue" slide is the popular brand and the "answer" slide is the parent company.

    Who would have thought that Converse, one of the originators of basketball shoes, would be scooped up by a former rival? Or that a fast-food giant known for its finger-lickin' good meals traces its origins to a soda company? If that doesn’t knock your socks off, just wait until you get to the company that used a popular rapper to build its brand name, and then said rapper boasted when that company was sold for billions.

    We won’t break out the red markers or hand out detention passes if you don’t fare well on this quiz—we have to admit, some of the parent companies of popular household name brands are headscratchers. But if you want to learn a little bit of history, gain an understanding of what goes into company takeovers, and what major players you should be on the lookout for soon (hint: think internet and e-commerce), then click through and see how many of these 50 questions you can ace.

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  • Brand #1: Converse

    - Sector: Clothing

  • Parent company #1: Nike

    Before the Nike “swoosh” became synonymous with athletic sneakers, Converse’s star logo was king of the court—Larry Bird and Magic Johnson both wore Converses during their NBA careers. But in 2003, Nike, which had long surpassed Converse in sales and popularity, acquired the former supplier for Johnson and Bird for $305 million. Nike, which also owned Cole Haan at the time, added some retro chic to its line, particularly with the iconic Converse Chuck Taylor shoe.

  • Brand #2: Old Navy

    - Sector: Clothing

  • Parent company #2: Gap Inc.

    In the early 1990s, Gap explored creating a chain of retail stores offering more affordable merchandise. In 1994, these “Gap Warehouses” were rechristened Old Navy. For the next 25 years, Old Navy served as a stronghold in the Gap chain, so much so that earlier this year, Gap announced plans to separate Old Navy into a publicly listed company.

  • Brand #3: Zappos

    - Sector: Clothing

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  • Parent company #3: Amazon

    During Amazon’s ascent to becoming an online retail giant, the company notably purchased Zappos in 2009 for a whopping total estimated at between $850 million and $928 million. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said cash-flow problems and a stalemate in growth led to the deal.

  • Brand #4: Kate Spade

    - Sector: Clothing

  • Parent company #4: Tapestry

    In 2017, Tapestry (originally known as Coach), purchased Kate Spade in a deal valued at $2.4 billion. Tapestry, which also operates Stuart Weitzman, has not had the expected success with Kate Spade, though. A lack of “newness” in Kate Spade items and discounts by competing brands have been attributed to stagnancy.

  • Brand #5: Zara

    - Sector: Clothing

  • Parent company #5: Inditex

    Zara’s origin began in Spain in 1975, under the guidance of Amancio Ortega. In 2001, Ortega hit the market with an initial public offering (IPO) for Inditex, with Zara serving as the flagship store. In 2018, Inditex recorded $29 billion in sales, which included merchandise from other stores like Pull&Bear and Bershka.

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