Interpublic chairman and chief executive officer Philip H. Geier, Jr. said
this strategic alignment with Icon Medialab is a new chapter in delivering
Internet and e-business solutions to marketers throughout the world. By
paying $20 million, Interpublic gets an initial equity position of just
under 20 percent. Interpublic will become Icon’s largest shareholder and
also will receive representation on Icon Medialab’s board of directors.
Interpublic has an option for equity investment up to 44 percent of the stock.
“In the digital economy, building brands requires going beyond traditional
media in order to migrate businesses and their customers to the Web,” said
Geier. “Icon Medialab has done this successfully for an impressive list of
global companies. Our partnership with Icon Medialab will benefit
Interpublic’s agencies and their clients by powerfully combining strategic,
communications and technology leadership.”
“Interpublics international credibility, companies and resources give Icon
Medialab unlimited capabilities to leverage its leadership in Europe into
the US marketplace and to service global brands even more effectively. It’s
a win-win for both companies and their clients,” added Franco Fedeli, CEO
of Icon Medialab.
Under the strategic partnership, Interpublic will designate Icon Medialab
as a preferred provider of interactive services to Interpublic’s major
agencies and companies. This cooperation will extend and deepen the
interactive capabilities that Interpublic’s agencies and companies can
offer to their clients, while providing Icon Medialab access to
Interpublics’s extensive global infrastructure.
As a first step in bringing the benefits of the alignment to specific
markets, the two companies will join forces in Norway.
Icon Medialab said it intends to aggressively expand in Europe and is
expected within a few weeks to present one of several acquisitions in
countries including France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Icon Medialab is headquarted in Stockholm and operates in 10 markets with
more than 400 employees. The company reported net sales in 1998 of SEK 131
million (US$16 million). Icon Medialab stock is traded on the Stock
Exchange in Stockholm and was up 5 percent after the deal was announced.
The Interpublic Group of Companies is one of the largest organizations of
advertising, marketing communications and interactive services companies in
the world. Interpublic operates in 127 countries with more than 35,000
employees, generating nearly $4 billion in gross income.
The deal is subject to approval at Icon Medialab’s General Shareholders
Meeting on April 27, 1999.