LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Suissa Miller Chairman David Suissa has filed to cash out a big chunk of his stake in Interpublic Group of Cos., following the lead of the agency's partner and president, Bruce Miller. But Mr. Suissa is getting a far lower price.
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The two executives obtained their shares when Interpublic, the agency holding company, bought the Los Angeles ad agency in January 2000.
Mr. Suissa filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Jan. 16 to sell 69,995 shares worth about $958,000. Mr. Miller over the past two years filed to sell 108,098 shares worth $3.4 million at Interpublic's then-higher valuation.
Mr. Suissa's filing comes at a time when speculation abounds in the Los Angeles ad community that the founders may move to buy back the agency. Interpublic already is expected to sell NFO WorldGroup, the largest company it bought in 2000, as it looks to reduce debt, and it may sell its 49% stake in a Southfield, Mich., multicultural agency, GlobalHue.
Messrs. Suissa and Miller didn't return calls to their office and to Mr. Miller's home; the agency was closed today for the holiday.
Suissa Miller and NFO were among 96 acquisitions Interpublic made in 2000.
The two executives sold the agency for 202,949 Interpublic shares, initially worth $7.8 million, plus $15.5 million in cash, according to SEC filings. That included an initial payment in January 2000 and a deferred payment in March 2002.
Suissa Miller's acquisition came weeks after Interpublic shares hit an all-time high of $58.06 in December 1999. The stock traded at $52.75 the day Suissa Miller was acquired. Interpublic, plagued by accounting and operating problems, heavy debt and the advertising downturn, has seen its stock plummet to about $14.