Technology company Yandex has reached an agreement to sell its Russian businesses to a consortium for Rbs475bn ($5.21bn) in a combination of cash and shares.  

The cash component is set to be a minimum of Rbs230bn, with up to approximately 176 million Yandex class A shares. 

Yandex said the “unprecedented and exceptional geopolitical environment” prompted a strategic evaluation that led to this decision. 

Also referred to as “Russia’s Google,” the tech company has created popular web services such as ride-hailing, advertising, and search. 

The transaction, which has been in the works for over 18 months, will see Yandex divest its entire interest in its Russian and certain international operations. 

Under the proposed deal, Yandex will transfer its stake in IJSC “Yandex”, the entity holding the company’s Russian assets to Consortium. First – which is backed by four financial investors including Argonaut.  

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By GlobalData

Consortium.First is managed by trustee Solid Management and includes investors not currently under sanctions from the US, EU, UK, or Switzerland.  

Three other companies in the consortium include Infinity Management, IT.Elaboration and Meridian-Servis. 

The sale process is expected to conclude in two stages, with the first closure in the first half of 2024 and the second within seven weeks thereafter.  

Following the sale, Yandex will retain a selection of early-stage technology ventures, including Nebius AI, Toloka AI, Avride, and TripleTen, as well as a data centre in Finland.  

These businesses, along with 1,300 employees and transitional licences through 2024, will focus on developing artificial intelligence-driven services for markets in Europe, the US, Asia, and the Middle East. 

Yandex chairman of the board of directors John Boynton said: “Since February 2022, the Yandex group and our team have faced exceptional challenges. We believe that we have found the best possible solution for our shareholders, our teams and our users in these extraordinary circumstances. 

“The proposed transaction will allow shareholders to recover some value for the businesses that we are divesting, while unlocking new growth potential for the international businesses we will retain and enabling the divested businesses to operate under new ownership.”