Former True North Shareholders Sue Interpublic

Allege They Were Misled on Financial Details

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NEW YORK ( -- Former shareholders of True North Communications have filed a lawsuit against Interpublic Group of Cos. alleging the company misled them prior to Interpublic's June 2001 acquisition of True North.

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In documents filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today, Interpublic disclosed two shareholder class action suits were filed in Circuit Court in Cook County, Ill., charging Interpublic and its management with misleading True North shareholders by not disclosing a series of charges which led to a $181.3 million restatement of earnings last month.

67.6 million shares
The True North shareholders received Interpublic stock in the deal; the suit alleges Interpublic's management made misleading statements in the documents filed to register 67.6 million shares the company issued to close the deal.

Additionally, Interpublic disclosed two additional shareholder suits were filed against it, one in the Delaware Court of Chancery in another in New York Supreme Court, New York County. Both suits make similar allegations to previous suits, which claim the board of directors breached its fiduciary duty to the shareholders.

In its SEC filing, Interpublic management reaffirmed it "intends to vigorously defend the actions ... the Company has no reason to believe that the final resolution of the actions will have a martial adverse effect on its financial condition."

Interpublic is due to respond by Friday to another suit in Delaware Chancery Court. Also on Friday, an amended complaint is due to consolidate 13 previously filed federal suits before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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