Interpublic in $28m Paper Prestidigitation

29 December 2005

Ailing Interpublic Group -despite its manifold problems still world number three agency holding company - said Tuesday it had accelerated the vesting of about $28 million in IPG stock options. This applies to some 8.3 million shares.

The move, which aims to eliminate a future compensation obligation and "alleviate certain administrative burdens," was revealed in a Form 8-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on December 23.

According to the filing, the vesting will affect "outstanding and unvested stock options previously awarded to [IPG] employees under the company's equity compensation plans".

Or, in plain English, most IPG staff won't now lay hands on stock set aside to incentivize and compensate them for future achievement. There are, of course, exceptions.

These include all options granted during 2005 plus those held by IPG chief executive Michael Roth, chief financial officer Frank Mergenthaler and all non-executive directors.

Strictly for Occam's Razor fans, IPG's Form 8-K states: "Upon adoption of SFAS on January 1, the company will recognize compensation expense related to any unvested options of that date, as well as any options granted after that date."

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff