Yandex split nears completion as Russian traders finalise share exchange

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Russian traders have finalized a share exchange for investors in Yandex, often referred to as Russia’s Google, marking one of the last steps in a $5 billion deal for local investors to take control of the company.

This buyout, led by a consortium of Russian investors, involves purchasing Yandex’s Russia-based businesses from its Dutch parent company, Yandex NV, at a heavily discounted price due to Kremlin pressures.

This deal, the largest exit by a Western-held company from Russia since the Ukraine war began, will transfer Yandex’s core operations—search, advertising, e-commerce, and ride-hailing—to Russian control. Yandex NV will retain and develop its smaller business units internationally.

With the Nasdaq suspension of Yandex shares post the Ukraine invasion, this deal allows Russian investors to trade the stock again, while foreign investors aim to recover value from international assets.

The Moscow Exchange and SPB Exchange completed a voluntary share exchange, converting Yandex NV shares to those in the new Russian entity, MKPAO Yandex.

The Moscow Exchange exchanged 42.4 million shares worth approximately $2.06 billion, while SPB Exchange settled 1.42 million shares.

The share exchange received bids for 43.9 million out of 50 million eligible shares, representing 99% of non-type C account shares. Type-C accounts, holding foreign assets, remain restricted by Russian authorities due to sanctions.

(REUTERS)

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