NEW YORK: On the verge of releasing a crucial report detailing its muddled finances, Interpublic Group (IPG) now faces a shareholder proposal to sell the company.
The Securities & Exchange Commission ruled last week that IPG could not block the proposal by Charles Miller, a holder of small shares with a history of making similar proposals at other companies. The proposal will appear on the company's proxy next month.
In a statement, IPG said, "Our best course of action continues to be resolving financial reporting issues and improving operating performance by focusing on key assets and resources."
The proposal to sell off the beleaguered holding company to the highest bidder is unlikely to result in a sale, but a solid show of support for it by shareholders could indicate to management a high level of dissatisfaction with the company's direction.
IPG is expected to release its long-delayed financial reports for all of 2004 and the first half of 2005 by the middle of this week.
The report will include restated earnings for 2000 through 2004, and a breakdown of "employee misconduct" revealed earlier this month.