Interpublic Debt Rating Downgraded

16 December 2002

As last week drew to a close, Interpublic Group’s suffering begin to resemble that of Job - with only a plague of boils remaining to be visited upon the unfortunate agency holding company.

The latest in its catalog of woes was delivered by New York financial ratings bureau Fitch Ratings which last week downgraded the rating on Interpublic’s senior unsecured debt to BBB-minus, from BBB.

Fitch also demoted IPG’s ratings on a bank credit facility to BBB-minus, from BBB; on convertible subordinated notes to BB-plus, from BBB-minus; and short-term debt to F3, from F2. The Fitch rating outlook on Interpublic, which has about $3 billion in debt, remains negative.

Standard & Poors also implanted the boot on Friday, downgrading IPG’s long-term credit rating to one level above junk status, emulating an earlier move by Moody’s Investors Services.

There is no truth in the rumor that John Dooner is stockpiling industrial quantities of Clearasil and BandAids.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff