Press Release


Interpublic Completes Strategic Transaction in Middle East and North Africa Region

July 29, 2008 at 8:02 AM EDT

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 29, 2008--The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that it has concluded an important transaction in the Middle East and North Africa region, increasing its stake in the Middle East Communication Networks (MCN) from a minority position to 51% ownership. Headquartered in Dubai, MCN is the region's premier marketing services management company with 60 offices across 14 countries. Since 1968, MCN agencies have serviced many of the world's largest marketers and a diversified group of local clients with the full range of marketing and advertising services throughout the MENA region. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

"This is an important step for IPG that allows us to build on an existing relationship with an exceptional company. The strong management group in place at MCN has unrivalled experience in the region, and we will continue to support them and their agency teams," commented Michael I. Roth, Chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group. "The MENA region is one of the fastest growth markets in the world, both in terms of population and GDP. Our shared history with MCN makes this a logical step for IPG. It gives us and our clients an unrivalled depth of talent and capabilities in MCN's markets and it gives MCN's regional clients access to the full breadth of the global IPG network."

Akram Miknas, Chairman and founder of the MCN group, added, "We've been in this business 40 years now, and I believe that today, with this vote of confidence and recognition from IPG - we are uniquely poised to harness the potential in the region and grow further, do great work for our clients and continue to build a network of agencies that sets the benchmark for our industry. Fadi Salameh has led the way over the years in our charge forward, and our family of people have responded with commitment and enthusiasm. This is a big step forward for all of us at MCN."

Fadi Salameh, MCN President & CEO, commented, "The increase in IPG's stake in our company is a reflection of the close relationship we've had with the organization over the years. This is an alignment that's well timed for us. We have made tremendous progress towards establishing ourselves as the leading marketing and advertising network in the Middle East and North Africa and were hugely awarded at Cannes this year for our creative work." Salameh added, "Now we can proudly claim to be part of one of the world's foremost marketing networks. This move gives us the impetus to continue full steam ahead as we further build the IPG brands in our region and establish MCN brands as regionally and globally recognized entities."

The largest agency within MCN, Fortune Promoseven, was established in Beirut in 1968. Since that time, it has evolved into the leading advertising agency for the MENA region, and works closely with McCann Erickson on major multinational clients. Other units within MCN include agencies specializing in media services, retail marketing, events, activation, public relations, CRM, digital marketing and branded entertainment. Several of the agencies within MCN are affiliated with Interpublic brands, including Lowe MENA, Initiative, Magna, Momentum, MRM, Universal Media and Weber Shandwick. In addition to Promoseven, regional agency brands include Brandbeat, Innovations, and MCN Media, one of the largest media entities in the region. Together, these agencies work with many of the world's most powerful global marketers.

About MCN

MCN - the Middle East Communication Networks - is a network of advertising, marketing and media agencies across the Middle East and North Africa. Key agency brands include the flagship Fortune Promoseven, Lowe MENA, Universal Media, Magna, Initiative, Momentum, Innovations, Weber Shandwick, Promoseven 360 and MRM. MCN employs over 1800 people across 60 offices in 14 countries in the region. Log on to for more information.

About Interpublic

Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include Draftfcb, FutureBrand, GolinHarris International, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, Lowe Worldwide, Magna, McCann Erickson, Momentum, MRM Worldwide, Octagon, Universal McCann and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Campbell-Ewald, Campbell Mithun, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Mullen, The Martin Agency and R/GA. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: The Interpublic Group
Philippe Krakowsky, 212-704-1328
Analysts, Investors:
Jerry Leshne, 212-704-1439

SOURCE: The Interpublic Group