Interpublic buys Deutsch

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Interpublic Group of Cos. today bought Deutsch, confirming a deal that had been rumored for weeks. The holding company picks up one of the last major independent agencies. Price wasn't disclosed, but people familiar with the deal pegged the price at $200 million to $250 million. CEO Donny Deutsch owns 87% of the agency, founded by his father in 1969. The remaining ownership is split among other agency partners. The acquisition of the coveted agency had been rumored despite denials from executives of both Interpublic and Deutsch. Interpublic is expected to make Deutsch its third major network, alongside McCann-Erickson Worldwide and Lowe Lintas & Partners. Deutsch, based in New York, has offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston. Deutsch has been working on a London office, set to open within 60 days; it is expected to use Interpublic's resources to make a global push. Deutsch's major clients DirecTV, Domino's Pizza, General Nutrition Centers, Microsoft Corp.'s Expedia, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, Pfizer's Zoloft and Zyterc, Procter & Gamble Co.'s, Snapple, Sun America and Tommy Hilfiger.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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