Interpublic’s Debt Downgraded to ‘Junk’ Ranking

10 March 2003

The jackals moved in to nip at the shanks of Interpublic Group on Friday as ratings assessor Standard & Poors cited “operating performance challenges” to justify its downgrading of the agency holding company’s debt to junk status.

The move came just twenty-four hours after the posting of IPG’s Q4 results, disclosing a 79% slump in earnings, further restatement of past accounts and gloomy prospects for 2003 [WAMN: 07-Mar-03].

According to S&P credit analyst Alyse Michaelson: “The downgrade is based on Interpublic's recent record of weak profitability and higher debt [to earnings]; and the likelihood that restoring earnings prospects ... could take longer than anticipated.”

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