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Interpublic Agrees $500m “Security Blanket”

News, 11 February 2003


Interpublic Group will have access to a new $500 million (€468m; £309m) credit line, providing what one source termed a “security blanket” as the group seeks to shake off accounting worries and reduce its $2.9 billion debts.

The interim credit, provided by UBS Warburg, is part of a renegotiation of its loan arrangements. In return, the agency giant must adopt a number of restrictions on its operations.

Chief among these is that Interpublic will not pay out a dividend on March 15 – the first time it will fail to make the payment since 1971. Thereafter, the decision to pay a dividend will be taken “on a quarter-by-quarter basis.”

Other restrictions include limits on Interpublic’s capital expenditure and its US subsidiaries’ ability to assume extra debt.

However, many of these conditions will be lifted if IPG manages to raise $400m from asset sales – a feat it should achieve comfortably should the sale of market research arm NFO WorldGroup be completed. Initial bids for the unit are around $575m.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff