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Fitch places Interpublic Group on Rating Watch Negative after Acxiom deal

Fitch Ratings has placed its BBB+ long-term issuer default rating and senior unsecured issue ratings of Interpublic Group of Cos. Inc. on Rating Watch Negative.

The ratings action reflects the leverage increase related to Interpublic's announced $2.3 billion deal with Acxiom Corp. to buy the latter's Marketing Solutions business unit. The agency is expecting Interpublic's pro forma total leverage will increase to approximately 3.2x at closing.

The rating agency affirmed Interpublic's F2 short-term issuer default rating and BBB+ commercial paper ratings at a stable outlook.