Yandex N.V., the Dutch parent company of the Yandex group, has announced a definitive agreement to divest all of its businesses in Russia and certain international markets.
The divestment, valued at RUB 475 billion ($5.2 billion), will see Yandex relinquish its interests in IJSC “Yandex”, its Russian operations, and select international assets. The decision comes after an extensive strategic review initiated in November 2022, after the company was told to divest from Russian assets or be de-listed from the Nasdaq exchange in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
John Boynton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yandex N.V., expressed confidence in the move, stating,
"We believe that we have found the best possible solution for our shareholders, our teams, and our users in these extraordinary circumstances."
The divested entities include Yandex's search engine which has a 63% market share in Russia as well as its Classifieds division includes real estate portals Yandex Realty and Yandex Rent as well as autos portal Auto.ru and the recently added Yandex Travel.
The classifieds business has more than tripled revenue in the last three years as the company uses its other assets to field growth amid a boom in Russian real estate investment.
The Purchaser, "Consortium.First", led by members of Yandex's senior management team and supported by financial investors, will acquire Yandex's Russian and select international assets. Notably, the consortium includes individuals and entities free from sanctions in major jurisdictions, ensuring regulatory compliance and smooth execution of the transaction.
The sale, subject to shareholder approval and regulatory consents, will be implemented in two closings. The first closing, anticipated in the first half of 2024, will see Yandex divesting a controlling stake in the Target to the Purchaser. The second closing, expected within seven weeks following the first, will finalize the transaction.
Post-divestment, Yandex N.V. will retain a portfolio of international businesses and non-Russian assets, focusing on AI-driven technology solutions targeting markets in Europe, the US, Asia, and the Middle East.