5 Feb 2024 17:02

Lukoil to own around 10% of Yandex, oil co shareholders not involved in deal

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) - The Lukoil Group will have a stake of approximately 10% in Yandex after a deal for a consortium of investors to buy the tech company has been closed, the oil company said in a statement.

"The transaction will close upon receipt of the necessary approvals and will be carried out without the participation of shareholders in Lukoil and related parties," it said.

"The acquisition of a stake in one of the digital technologies leaders is a portfolio venture investment for the Lukoil group, which is expected, among other things, to contribute to the development of high-tech solutions and increase efficiency primarily in the company's retail business," it said.

Yandex N.V . (YNV), the Dutch parent company of the Yandex group, has agreed to sell the group's Russian business to a consortium of private investors for 475 billion rubles.

The terms of the deal factor in the Russian authorities' standard requirement for at least a 50% discount on the market price when nonresidents sell assets. Yandex N.V.'s weighted average market capitalization in the three months that ended on January 31 was about $10.2 billion (918 billion rubles), and the assets included in the deal generated more than 95% of the group's revenue in the first nine months of 2023, Yandex said.

The consideration for sale will be payable in a combination of cash and Class A shares of Yandex N.V., with at least 50% of the consideration to be paid in cash. The seller will therefore receive the cash equivalent of at least 230 billion rubles in Chinese yuan and approximately 176 million Yandex N.V. Class A shares. The buyer already holds or will acquire the consideration shares, the press release said.

As a result of the deal, a recently registered international joint-stock company (IJSC) incorporated in Russia will become Yandex's parent company. The company received 99.999% of shares in Yandex LLC in January.

The principal owner of the IJSC will be Consortium.First, a closed-end mutual investment fund led by senior executives from the group's Russian business. The other members of the consortium are entities owned by oil company Lukoil , former Gazprom deputy chairman Alexander Ryazanov, Leta Capital founder Alexander Chachayev and Infinitum CEO Pavel Prass.

Yandex N.V. plans to use a portion of the net cash consideration to finance the development of the retained international businesses, and ultimately to return a substantial proportion of the proceeds to its remaining shareholders, which it expects will be through a share repurchase offer.