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5 Feb, 2024 11:30

Kremlin hails repatriation of tech giant

Netherlands-registered Yandex NV has agreed to sell its Russian operations to a consortium of local investors and spin off its main international projects
Kremlin hails repatriation of tech giant

The Kremlin welcomes the $5 billion agreement to sell tech giant Yandex’s Russian business to a consortium of private investors, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

Often referred to as “Russia’s Google,” Yandex has come under intense pressure amid Western sanctions. Since 2022, the Dutch-registered entity has been seeking to divest its Russian business, which generates the lion’s share of its revenue, and to spin off a number of its international startups.

“Of course, it is important for us that the company continue its work in this area. In this regard, we can welcome the agreement on the sale that the shareholders reached. The Russian management of the company will remain the main owner,” Peskov stated.

The Kremlin had been engaged in negotiations with Yandex for around 18 months. The cash-and-shares deal worth 475 billion rubles ($5.2 billion) would see the country’s largest technology player come entirely under Russian ownership. A consortium of local investors will get the largest stake in the Russian business, while oil major Lukoil will hold 10%, according to the company.

Peskov called Yandex “one of the national champions in the high-tech economy” and one of Russia’s largest companies,. “For us, of course, it is important for the company to continue to operate in our country. This is a company that provides work to many talented people. Many young people are looking for work at Yandex,” the spokesman said.

Once regulatory and shareholder approval is received, the sale is reportedly set to be completed in two stages, the first of which is anticipated to close in the first half of this year, with the second following within seven weeks.

Yandex’s Dutch parent company, Yandex NV, will retain a portfolio of four early-stage tech businesses in the cloud, data solutions, self-driving and education technology sectors.

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