Yandex Severs Ties With Russia For $5.2B

Yandex NV, the parent company of the Russian search engine, has agreed to sell its assets in the country to a group of local investors for $5.2 billion in one of the largest corporate exits from Russia since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company, which is based in the Netherlands, said Monday the total consideration for the sale will be RUB 475 billion, subject to adjustments and payable in a combination of cash and Class A shares of YNV. At least 50% will be paid in cash.

Yandex will retain some of its assets outside of Russia, such as autonomous-driving, cloud computing and artificial intelligence businesses. The company will seek shareholder approval to rebrand under a new name.

The plan is to delist "its Class A shares from the Moscow Exchange, to be effective as of the second closing. The Target is expected to obtain public status and a listing on the Moscow Exchange in advance of the first closing," the company published in a release on its website. 



The cash consideration for Yandex, known for its Google-like tech qualities, will be paid in Chinese Yuan (CNH) outside of Russia, Yandex NV said in a statement.

The Purchaser is “Consortium.First,” a newly formed closed-end mutual investment combined fund managed by “Solid Management,” a Russian joint stock company and licensed trust manager, as trustee. 

Lukoil, a Russian oil producer, and several entrepreneurs are part of the group buying Yandex assets led by local management. This would put the company under Russian ownership. Lukoil said in a statement reported by The Wall Street Journal it would hold 10% of the new Russian company.

Apart from the search engine, Yandex’s Russian assets include a popular ride-hailing application, an ecommerce platform and an Alexa-style virtual assistant called Alice.

Arkady Volozh, Yandex’s co-founder, moved from Russia to Israel in 2014. He condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It led some in the Kremlin to push to nationalize Yandex, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is barbaric, and I am categorically against it,” Volozh said in a statement published in August 2023. “I am horrified about the fate of people in Ukraine — many of them my personal friends and relatives — whose houses are being bombed every day.”

The Kremlin welcomed the deal and has been engaged in negotiations with Yandex for around 18 months to try and spin off the Russian businesses from Yandex NV, its Dutch parent, according to reports.


Next story loading loading..