NEW YORK: WPP Group has acquired a greater stake in Russian agency The PBN Company and merged it into Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
The combined firm, PBN Hill+Knowlton Strategies, will operate in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, among other countries. WPP will close H+K's Moscow office and merge its operations there with PBN's shop. PBN's staff will also share office space with H+K in Washington.
The firm specializes in corporate and crisis communications, government relations, financial communications, and marketing communications. PBN's clients include healthcare company Abbott, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BP, Citi, John Deere, and NYSE Euronext.
WPP now has a 75% stake in PBN. The holding company initially bought 49.9% of the company in 2007.