Moody's upgrades Interpublic's senior unsecured ratings to investment-grade Baa3 from junk-bond Ba2 on expectation that it will continue to pay down debt, preform better in 2011, 2012

NEW YORK , June 8, 2011 () – Credit-ratings agency Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday upgraded its rating on advertising company Interpublic Group of Cos.' credit.

Moody's, which began reviewing the rating early last month, said Interpublic has been paying down debt and improving results over the past 18 months. Interpublic owns well-known advertising and public relations agencies such as McCann Erickson and Lowe,

The upgrade is based on Moody's expectation that Interpublic will continue to pay down debt and perform better in 2011 and 2012.

In particular, Moody's singled out efforts by new management at McCann to improve results.

Moody's raised its rating on Interpublic's senior unsecured ratings two notches to an investment-grade "Baa3" from a junk-bond "Ba2" rating.

It also assigned a "Baa3" rating to the company's new $1 billion unsecured revolving credit facility due May 2016. The credit line replaces Interpublic's former $650 million facility.

Interpublic's shares slipped 17 cents to $11.17 in afternoon trading.

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