Three firms in Visa IPO

SAN FRANCISCO: Fleishman-Hillard, ICR, and Brunswick Group handled the financial communications for the Visa IPO, the largest in US history.

SAN FRANCISCO: Fleishman-Hillard, ICR, and Brunswick Group handled the financial communications for the Visa IPO, the largest in US history.

ICR, which has worked with Visa for five years out of Westport, CT, provided technical financial communications counsel. Brunswick, which was retained two years ago, aided corporate, global, and financial communications. Fleishman, Visa's primary agency, contributed to its IPO and preceding restructuring, as well.

Before the IPO began, Visa underwent a restructuring that merged its worldwide regional businesses under the new Visa Inc. brand. (Visa Europe still operates as a licensee.) The restructuring and IPO were announced in October 2006 - a long lead-time for an IPO.

"It took a lot of work," said Doug Michelman, global head of corporate relations for Visa Inc. "It was a two-year restructuring and merger process. From a communications perspective, you need to look at it in that context. The IPO is the culmination of those events."

Following its March 18 IPO - an $18-billion public offering - Visa entered a quiet period, where it will remain for another few weeks. Trading began the following day at $44 per share, and its stock price closed at $62.32 on April 2.

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