Netherlands-based Yandex NV, the parent company of Russia’s leading tech giant Yandex, has agreed to sell its Russian assets to a consortium of local investors for 475 billion rubles (about $5.2 billion).
The move marks the largest capital outflow from Russia since the start of the Ukraine war and marks a significant shift in the country’s ownership of technology. Here are all the details…
Yandex NV is being sold for $5.2 billion
The deal, announced in a statement by Yandex NV, includes selling all Yandex assets operating in Russia. The consortium buying these assets includes Lukoil, the country’s largest private oil company. As part of the deal, Yandex NV will not be able to use the “Yandex” brand in Russia after July 31, 2024.
Acknowledging the company’s challenges since February 2022, John Boynton, chairman of Yandex NV’s board of directors, said: “We believe we have found the best possible solution for our shareholders, teams, and users in these extraordinary circumstances.”
The announcement comes after Yandex founder Arkadiy Voloj left the company in December 2022, facing sanctions from the European Union. The company’s market capitalization, once valued at $82.8 billion, fell to $6.8 billion after the start of the war.
The sale talks, which lasted about 18 months, prompted foreign investors in Yandex NV to exit their stakes in Russian assets. This marks the largest outflow since the start of the war.
Upon completion of the deal, Russian entities will fully own and operate Yandex’s Russian operations, including its dominant search engine and various other services. The first phase of the acquisition will be completed in the first half of 2024, followed by the rebranding of Yandex NV by July 31.
This important transaction raises several questions about the future of Yandex and the Russian tech industry more broadly. How will the company operate in its home market without its own eponymous brand? What impact will this have on users and employees? And how will this development affect the wider technology landscape in Russia? Only time will tell the full implications of this historic deal.
Featured image credit: Yandex Wikipedia