Clever Interpublic reveals $200m stake in Facebook

Agencies usually fret about paying the right price for shares in or control of trendy new media companies; Omnicom came unstuck in the dotcom boom of 2001 by overpaying for things it didn’t really understand.

But now Interpublic, the fourth-largest marcoms company, which has recently had a reputation as a stock market duffer, has revealed that it owns a stake worth $200m in Facebook, picked up for a song.

Interpublic was offered a half a per cent stake in Facebook for $5m back in 2006 when the site was valued at between $1bn and $2bn in return for pledging $10m of client money.

Facebook was subsequently valued at $15bn a year later when Microsoft bought in, $50bn when Goldman Sachs took a stake last year and the current ‘grey’ market in the as yet unquoted shares values the social network at $85bn (which would make IPG’s share worth around $350m).

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