Yandex’s restructuring deal expected to be delayed to next year

Yandex's restructuring deal expected to be delayed to next year
The logo of Russian technology giant Yandex is on display at the company's headquarters in Moscow REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

The completion of Nasdaq-listed Russian tech company Yandex’s (YNDX.O) restructuring is expected to be postponed until early 2024, three sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters on Monday.

Often referred to as “Russia’s Google”, tech firm Yandex was one of the few Russian companies with the potential to become a global business until Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

For more than a year, Yandex and the Kremlin have been engaged in negotiations to try spin off Yandex’s Russian businesses from its Dutch parent company, Yandex NV.

Dutch holding company Yandex NV has been working on a restructuring for months, as it tries to ensure some of its businesses retain access to Western markets despite sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

The deal was initially expected to be reached in December. Any deal ultimately requires approval from shareholders and Russia’s government.

Yandex declined to comment on the restructuring process.

The company is aiming to recoup shareholder funds through the sale of its main revenue-generating Russian businesses, such as its search and ride-hailing operations. It then plans to develop four other business lines internationally.

One of the sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is not public, said the company had made “great progress” and handed all the documents to lawyers, but it was not clear the work would be completed this month.

Another source said the goal now was to complete the deal in the first quarter, while a third source said it was expected in “the beginning of 2024”.

On Monday, Russia’s central bank registered an issuance of ordinary and preferred shares of a new company called MKAO Yandex, which is being set up in the city of Kaliningrad as part of the restructuring.

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