Marcoms group Interpublic picked up about 0.4 per cent of Facebook five years ago as part of an ad deal and is selling half the stake to an undisclosed buyer for $133m, a nice profit on its original $5m investment.
More significantly perhaps the deal values Facebook at $66.5bn, rather less than the fanciful estimates of $100bn and more washing around the market earlier this year before the recent stock market gyrations and reports of Facebook going off the boil in the US.
Interpublic says it will use the money to increase its ongoing share buyback programme from $300m to $450m.
This is disappointing for pundits looking for a flurry of deals from the marcom companies this year but $133m doesn’t buy you a lot these days (about half a mid-sized agency in Brazil) so IPG CEO Michael Roth, an accountant, is sticking to his plan of re-establishing Interpublic as a creditable and creditworthy company in the eyes of the investment community before essaying a big deal.
IPG’s Lowe & Partners is in the process of sealing a deal with the 303, Australia’s biggest independent creative agency.