Yandex parent company to review ownership of Russian internet giant

Tech company said it planned to divest ownership and control of most of Yandex Group

Yandex, which has a ride-hailing arm, operates about 16,000 cars across several Russian cities. Bloomberg
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Russian internet giant Yandex's Dutch holding company on Friday said it planned to divest ownership and control of most of Yandex Group, with the international divisions of some services to be developed outside Russia.

Yandex NV said it had started a "strategic process to review options to restructure the group's ownership and governance in light of the current geopolitical environment".

"As part of the intended restructuring of the group, the board anticipates that Yandex NV will in due course be renamed, with the business to be divested, retaining exclusive rights for the use of the Yandex brand," Yandex said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and former finance minister Alexei Kudrin addressed the future of Yandex in a late-night meeting, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Sources told Reuters that Mr Kudrin, a long-time colleague of Mr Putin, is expected to leave his role as head of Russia's Audit Chamber to take up a position with Yandex. One of the sources said that could happen in the coming weeks.

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

The company has set up a special committee charged with exploring various scenarios, including developing the international divisions of Yandex's self-driving technologies cloud computing, data labelling, and EdTech independently from Russia.

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

Updated: November 25, 2022, 2:47 PM