Interpublic Shares at Ten-Year Nadir

14 February 2003

Investors gave an apparent thumbs-down on Wednesday to the deal struck between ailing agency holding company Interpublic Group and its creditors [WAMN: 11-Feb-03], their displeasure resulting in a 10.7% plunge in the group’s already fragile share price.

Triggering the fall was a general feeling among investors and analysts that the deal imposed insufficiently stringent conditions on IPG. This sent stock sharply downward, bottoming on Wednesday’s close at $9.23 (€8.52; £5.69) – its lowest level in nearly ten years.

By close of business on the New York Stock Exchange last night (Thursday) shares had plunged a further 4.1% to $8.85. This compares with trading in early January when IPG stock traded above $15.

One entrail-raker, David Doft of CIBC World Markets, pronouncing on IPG’s $2.9 billion debt albatross, probably spoke for the majority of investors: “We do not believe the company is out of the woods yet.”

Interpublic declined to comment.

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