Interpublic exits Facebook

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 20, 2012 11:25 AM
Interpublic exits Facebook

(Reuters) - Interpublic Group of Cos said it sold its remaining investment in Facebook Inc for $95 million in cash.

Interpublic said it expects to record a pre-tax gain of $94 million. It had recorded a pre-tax gain of $132.2 million for the third quarter of last year from the sale of half of its 0.4 percent stake in Facebook.

Interpublic paid less than $5 million for the stake in 2006.

Shares of Facebook, which debuted with a market value of more than $100 billion in May, have lost nearly half their value since then on concerns about money-making prospects.

"We decided to sell our remaining shares in Facebook as our investment was no longer strategic in nature," Chief Executive Michael Roth said in a statement.

Interpublic also authorized an increase in its existing share repurchase program to $400 million from $300 million. The company repurchased shares worth $151 million, as of September 30.

Shares of the company were up 1 percent at $10 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Facebook shares were marginally up at $23.00 on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)