Russian billionaires bid for stake in Yandex’s local assets -Bloomberg News

(Reuters) -Technology company Yandex has received two separate bids from Russian billionaires for a stake of about half of the company’s local business, valuing it at more than $7 billion, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

Yandex declined to comment.


Billionaires Vladimir Potanin and Vagit Alekperov bid for at least a 51% controlling stake in Yandex’s Russian business, which they value at about 560 billion roubles ($7.2 billion) to 600 billion roubles, the report said citing people familiar with the matter.

Interros, an investment holding company Potanin controls, declined to comment. Alekperov could not immediately be reached for comment.

The board of Yandex might discuss the bids next week when it meets in Dubai, the report added.

The Kremlin will need to sign off on the final group of buyers, Bloomberg said.

Since Moscow sent troops to Ukraine in February 2022 Yandex, often dubbed “Russia’s Google”, has struggled to balance domestic pressure with the interests of its Western investors and is also appealing a Nasdaq plan to delist its stock.

The company itself is not under Western sanctions.

Yandex’s primary advertising competitor, Alphabet Inc’s Google, stopped selling online advertising in Russia last year.

The company also sold its news aggregator platform Yandex News and content recommendation service Yandex Zen to its Russian rival VK in 2022.

($1 = 77.7205 roubles)

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Eileen Soreng and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)