Reports: Activist hedge fund takes stake in Interpublic Group

Reports by The New York Times' DealBook blog, Bloomberg News, and The Wall Street Journal all said the hedge fund will encourage the holding company to sell itself to a rival.

Interpublic Groupe CEO Michael Roth
Interpublic Groupe CEO Michael Roth

Activist hedge fund Elliot Management, overseen by billionaire Paul Singer, has taken a 6.7% stake in Interpublic Group, according to numerous media reports published Thursday.

Reports by The New York Times’ DealBook blog, Bloomberg News, and The Wall Street Journal all said the hedge fund will encourage the holding company to sell itself to a rival.

Interpublic owns and operates PR firms Weber Shandwick, Golin, DeVries, and Spong, among others, as well as ad agencies McCann and FCB and media shop IPG Mediabrands.

On Friday, IPG reported $1.85 billion in revenue in the second quarter, up 4.7% organically compared with Q2 2013. Its Constituency Management Group unit, which contains the lion’s share of its PR agencies, achieved a 7.9% organic increase in revenue, year-over-year, to $355.4 million in Q2.

Elliot Management took the stake in IPG less than three months after the proposed Publicis Groupe-Omnicom Group "merger of equals" fell apart, due to culture clashes and disagreements over who would serve in top executive roles.

The hedge fund is also reportedly encouraging storage giant EMC to break up, urging it to spin off server pioneer VMWare.

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