WPP Acquires Minority Stake in Russian Specialist PBN
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WPP Acquires Minority Stake in Russian Specialist PBN

The PBN Company, a firm with offices in the former Soviet Union as well as the U.S. and U.K., has forged a strategic partnership with communications holding company WPP in an effort to further strengthen PBN’s position in Russia, Ukraine, and other emerging markets.

Paul Holmes

MOSCOW—The PBN Company, a firm with offices in the former Soviet Union as well as the U.S. and U.K., has forged a strategic partnership with communications holding company WPP in an effort to further strengthen PBN’s position in Russia, Ukraine, other CIS countries and the Baltics and to leverage the firm’s expansion into other high-opportunity emerging markets.

PBN’s clients include western companies investing in the region— BP, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Enel, Merrill Lynch, Mittal Steel, Motorola, Pepsi, Telenor, Xerox and Western NIS Fund—as well as Russian, Ukrainian and CIS companies that are expanding both domestically and internationally: Basic Element, Ferrexpo, Renaissance Group, Rolf Group of Companies, Sberbank, UkrEximbank and UMC.

The firm has operated in the region since 1990, and has more than 100 people in offices in Moscow, Kyiv, Almaty, Riga, London and Washington, D,C. WPP has acquired a 49.9 percent interest in PBN. PBN’s original shareholders—husband and wife team Peter Necarsulmer and Susan Thurman—will maintain a controlling interest in the company and the entire existing management team will remain in place. PBN will also retain its existing brand.

“This partnership combines the best of PBN’s entrepreneurial skills and regional expertise, with the clout and capacity of WPP as one of the world’s largest marketing communications companies,” says PBN chairman and CEO Necarsulmer. “Today PBN has more professionals in the United States, the U.K., Russia, Ukraine and the CIS dedicated to the region than any other communications company.  The WPP partnership adds even more firepower to our client offering throughout the world.”

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