The company, which manages Russia’s largest search engine and online taxi service, wants to buy a 38% stake in Uber in Yandex.Taxi. As of March 31, Uber estimated its stake at $ 1.24 billion. According to Uber, after February 2021, Yandex will receive the right to preemptively buy back Uber’s stake in the joint venture.
The representative of Yandex said that the company is considering various options for the restructuring of property in joint ventures and is ready to discuss this issue. A Uber spokesman declined to comment.
Discussions are at an early stage and the deal may not take place. At the same time, Yandex may conduct an IPO in the future.
The pandemic hit the taxi market, dropping shares of Uber and Lyft Inc. and reducing the appraised value of other companies that are seeking an IPO. According to one source, in this regard, Yandex is considering the possibility of restructuring the enterprise, given that the car-sharing business, which is currently not part of a joint venture with Uber, can complement the company’s taxi service.
Uber teamed up with Yandex in Russia and neighboring countries in February 2018, valuing a division called MLU BV at $ 3.8 billion. Last year, the venture attracted banks, including the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to value stocks for sale in the United States. As Bloomberg News reported in October, the value of the business was estimated to range from $ 5 billion to $ 8 billion.
Yandex launched a taxi service in 2011 to receive an additional source of income in addition to advertising on the Internet. After concluding a deal with Uber, Yandex.Taxi began to develop other types of business, such as food delivery and unmanned vehicles.
In April, the company announced that its revenue grew 49% in the first quarter, with Yandex accounting for 24%, despite abandoning targets for the entire company this year amid uncertainty due to a pandemic.
However, measures taken by the Russian government to combat the spread of coronavirus have undermined the demand for taxi services. The company recently invested in business to increase the availability of taxi rides and save drivers’ salaries, and also decided to take up food delivery.
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