Yandex parent to review ownership of Russian tech giant, seek divestment

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Dutch holding company of Russian internet giant Yandex said on Friday it intended to cede ownership and control of most of the Yandex Group, with international divisions of some services to be developed outside Russia .

Yandex NV said it had begun a “strategic process to review options for restructuring the ownership and governance of the group in light of the current geopolitical environment”.

“As part of the planned restructuring of the group, the board expects that Yandex NV will be renamed in due course, with the business to be divested retaining exclusive rights to use the Yandex brand,” Yandex NV said in a statement. communicated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin discussed the future of Yandex in a late-night meeting, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.

Sources told Reuters that Kudrin, a longtime colleague of the president, is expected to leave his post as head of the Russian Accounts Chamber to take up a position at Yandex. One of the sources said it could happen in the next few weeks.

Yandex NV said the strategy process was at a preliminary stage and any changes would ultimately require shareholder approval.

The company has set up a special committee to explore various scenarios, including developing Yandex’s international self-driving technology divisions, cloud computing, data labeling and edtech independently of Russia.

The Dutch parent company said it would seek to cede ownership and control of all other Yandex Group businesses, which include the company’s dominant search and advertising unit, as well as carpooling and e-commerce.

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