INTERPUBLIC REPORTS $102 MILLION NET LOSS
Organic Revenue Down 3% for Third Quarter
PROXY ADVISERS AGAINST SALE OF IPG
But One Says PricewaterhouseCoopers Must Go
INTERPUBLIC'S DAVID BELL AND JOHN DOONER TO BE OFF BOARD
SEC Informed They Will Not Be Renominated to Seats
IPG STOCK HITS TWO-YEAR LOW
Plans to Sell $575 Million in New Stock
IPG OFFERS DETAILS BEHIND $550 MILLION RESTATEMENT
'Material Weakness' in Agency Oversight Cited
IPG EARNINGS RESTATEMENT DROPS A HALF-BILLION DOLLARS
Filing Cites Seven Instances of Employee Misconduct
IPG TO RESTATE EARNINGS AGAIN
Reports 'Possible Employee Misconduct' Found
INTERPUBLIC GROUP NAMES NEW CFO
Frank Mergenthaler Was Formerly With Columbia House
SEC WIDENS INVESTIGATION OF IPG
CFO of Embattled Holding Company to Leave
INTERPUBLIC ISSUES UNAUDITED 2004 RESULTS
Operating Loss Estimated at $285 Million; CEO Defends Agencies
CLOUD OVER IPG DARKENS
Possible New Financial Restatements and Extensive 'Material Weaknesses' Revealed
INTERPUBLIC DELAYS RELEASE OF EARNINGS REPORT
Cites 'Items That May Require Adjustments'
IPG NAMES MICHAEL ROTH NEW CEO
David Bell Moves to Co-Chairman
INTERPUBLIC TO SETTLE SHAREHOLDER LAWSUITS
Company Will Pay $115 Million in and Stock
LAWSUIT ALLEGES 'ACCOUNTING MANIPULATIONS' AT INTERPUBLIC
Current and Former Top Executives Named as Defendants
DAVID BELL NAMED INTERPUBLIC CHIEF
John Dooner Steps Down, Will Return to Head McCann-Erickson WorldGroup
INTERPUBLIC STOCK HITS 10-YEAR LOW
Analysts Say New Credit Agreement Less Harsh Than Expected
SEC LAUNCHES FORMAL PROBE OF IPG ACCOUNTING
Focus Includes Five Years of Earnings Statements
At the company’s annual meeting this morning, investors also pushed through a few management proposals, including the election of Interpublic’s board of directors, to confirm accountancy PricewaterhouseCoopers as its independent auditors for the year, and to adopt an employee stock-purchase plan.
The 50-minute meeting was largely free of contention, although one shareholder bashed Interpublic’s management for company’s ongoing turmoil. Ken Steiner, who owns 1,000 shares, lashed out against the board of directors, citing a tenure marked by “massive loss of shareholder value, misstated earnings, management turmoil and an SEC inquiry,” among other black marks.
Chairman-CEO Michael Roth, presiding over the first shareholder meeting since taking the reins of the company earlier this year, defended the board. “Our board of directors has acted prudently, particularly in addressing internal control issues,” he said.
Mr. Roth was referring to a six-month accounting investigation that wrapped up in late September with the company announcing the restatement of about $500 million in earnings over a five-year period. Last week, in its first earnings call since the restatement, Interpublic said quarterly net losses had narrowed but showed a decrease in organic revenue.
Mr. Steiner was also acting as a proxy for Charles Miller, the Great Neck, N.Y-based psychologist who this year submitted a resolution that the company put itself up for sale to the highest bidder. In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Interpublic tried to keep the resolution off its recently filed proxy statement. The SEC overruled the move.
Mr. Steiner said the move makes sense because of the “dismal performance of the company and its stock,” adding, “there comes a time when a company has to evaluate its alternatives.”
The proposal was defeated with a resounding vote. About 87% of shareholders who voted opposed the resolution.
Shareholders also re-elected eight directors, with Mr. Roth now the only insider. Former CEOs John Dooner and David Bell were not re-nominated, as part of a plan to reshape the board so it’s dominated by outsider directors, the model favored by corporate-governance experts.
About 372 million shares -- or 86% -- voted, according to an Interpublic spokesman. There were 126 attendees at the meeting.