Less than 24 hours after Publicis and Omnicom officially confirmed their merger, Interpublic is already in play. At least in the minds of investors. Over the weekend, Pivotal Research Group raised its target price for Interpublic’s stock 31% to $21 per share, speculating that WPP would be its “likely” acquirer, though Dentsu and Havas are also potential suitors.
Investors seem to agree. Interpublic shares opened this morning 6% over Friday’s close and 80% over their 52-week low. “We now have as many as three potential acquirers for Interpublic,” Pivotal analyst and former Interpublic insider Brian Wieser wrote following the Publicis-Omnicom news, “which offers the best solution for each of the companies that might want to buy it?”
By the way, the only Madison Avenue stock to open lower than Friday’s close was WPP’s (-2%).
Responded IPG CEO Michael Roth: “Our focus is and will remain on our clients and our people – which are the strength of our company. There’s nothing about scale that makes for better creative ideas, or leads to better integration of marketing disciplines. “
Coca-Pepsi? A well-regarded industry blogger was at a loss on how to follow this weekend’s coverage of the Publicis-Omnicom merger, and instead turned his speculation to a potential merger of their clients. “How will Coke and Pepsi be affected by this? Maybe they’ll merge next,” he quipped.
It’s Difficult To Imagine John Wren Wearing A Tee-Shirt (But At Least We Know He Owns One)
John Wren is Madison Avenue’s quintessential “suit” -- a no nonsense guy that is all about bottom lines, return on equity, shareholders, and yes, of course, clients. But there is at least one tee-shirt stashed somewhere in the bottom of his finely polished burled wood wardrobe, even if he hasn’t worn it in many years -- if ever.
Asked about the digital convergence of Omnicom’s and Publicis’ assets, Wren gushed to reporters that he was one of the angels behind seminal digital shop Razorfish -- long before Publicis or even Microsoft owned it.
“I was one of the first investors in it,” he said, confiding, “I have a tee-shirt.”
Presumably, he got more than that as a return on his investment.