IPG Sells Half of Facebook Stake for $133 million

Return on $5 million investment

The global marketing communications company Interpublic Group has reached an agreement to sell about half of its stake in Facebook for $133 million in a privately negotiated transaction. An IPG rep said the company is not disclosing the buyer, the number of shares sold, or the price paid per share.

When IPG made its initial investment in June 2006, the company paid under $5 million for a stake of less than half a percent, a holding sources valued at around $200 million in January when Goldman Sachs put a $50 billion valuation on Facebook. Much of IPG’s stake in Facebook has been undiluted since the company’s original purchase.

When the current transaction closes, IPG expects to record a pre-tax gain of $132 million, the proceeds of which will be put toward increasing its existing stock repurchase program. IPG will now buy back $450 million of shares, up from $300 million. Through Aug. 12, the company has repurchased $187.6 million in common stock, including fees, or about 16.8 million shares. (The repurchase program has no expiration date.)

On Friday, Aug. 12, IPG shares closed at $8.64 a share; the stock has a 52-week trading range of  $7.49 to $13. 35.


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