LONDON: WPP Group is to buy a 49% stake in The PBN Company, a Washington, DC-headquartered firm that focuses on the former Soviet Union and its satellites, as well as the Middle East.

PBN, which describes itself as an international strategic communications consultancy, services clients worldwide from offices in Washington DC, London, Moscow, Kyiv and Riga.

It specializes in corporate positioning, reputation management, financial communications, government relations and crisis management.

All of which are services likely to be in increasing demand in Vladimir Putin's Russia, a nation that daily becomes more reminiscent of Al Capone's Chicago in the 1920s

No-one at WPP or PBN's Moscow office was available to comment on the deal.

Data sourced from Moscow Times / Bloomberg; additional content by WARC staff