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Yandex sold to Russia for half price

by on06 February 2024

Dutch go dutch

The Dutch owners of Yandex, the Russian tech giant, have flogged their search engine and other services to a bunch of Russian bosses and oil firm Lukoil for a measly $5.21 billion.

The Associated Press says it's "one of the biggest deals for Western-held companies to quit Russia since the invasion of Ukraine."

Moscow forced the Dutch to take a 50 per cent cut on their exit price as a punishment for being from an "unfriendly" country like the Netherlands.

The cash and shares deal worth 4.87 billion euros would hand over Yandex's main business -- making up more than 95 per cent of its money, stuff, and staff -- to the group of up to 50 bosses, Lukoil and some investors called Alexander Chachava, Pavel Prass and Alexander Ryazanov.

The half-price sale was based on the average value of Yandex shares on the Moscow market for the three months ending Jan. 31 -- $10.2 billion. That's after the shares had already dropped by more than half since their high point before the invasion.

After the sale, Yandex NV would be left with its foreign businesses, 1,300 workers, a driverless car development unit, and a data centre in Finland.

Yandex, set up in 1997 as Russia's rival to Google and Yahoo, serves Russian speakers with its search engine and popular apps for food, cars and shopping.

Co-founder Arkady Volozh moved to Israel earlier and quit as boss in 2022 after he was hit with EU sanctions. He later slammed Russia's invasion as "barbaric." The Nasdaq stopped trading in Yandex shares days after the invasion.


Last modified on 06 February 2024
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