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Yandex Plans IPO on Nasdaq
May 6, 2011 15:23

Russia's largest Internet search engine Yandex has officially announced about its plans to list shares on Nasdaq in New York. Yandex N.V., the parent company of Yandex, registered in the Netherlands, said it had sent a request to the Commission's Securities and Exchange to list shares on Nasdaq.

Yandex had some plans for an IPO in 2008 and even filed an application to the Nasdaq. However, due to the crisis, the company postponed these plans. In September, 2011 the media reported that Yandex was going to place its shares on Nasdaq in the beginning of 2011.

According to the Forbes, the global coordinator for the IPO had been chosen Morgan Stanley bank, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs will also participate in the IPO organization. According to the Forbes, "the company’s pre-marketing will begin next week and the offer is planned for the end of May". In addition, Piper Jaffray & Co. and Pacific Crest Securities will be the joint managers for the accommodation. The financial consultant will be performed by Sberbank.

The price range is still not known. However, according to the Reuters, Yandex may raise up about a billion dollars in an initial public offering on Nasdaq. It is expected that Yandex's shares will appear on the Nasdaq in the beginning of June. Yandex's IPO could be the first appearance of a Russian company on Nasdaq since 2006 year, when Russian CTC Media had entered the market first.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the pre-IPO investors have estimated Yandex at 6-9 billion dollars. The newspaper noted, that the search engine company was going to offer the investors from 10 to 20% of the shares.

The company is going to use the IPO proceeds for investments in technology infrastructure, new servers and data centers.

The company generated 64 percent of all search traffic in Russia in 2010 and is called "Russian Google". It’s main competitors in the search engine business are Google and In March 2011, attracted 38.3 million unique visitors. According to the Reuters, "the company made a net profit of $134.3 million in 2010 on revenue of $439.7 million, while operating costs and expenses amounted to $270 million".

The company's biggest shareholders are "Baring Vostok Private Equity Funds with a 23.89 percent stake, and founders Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich, with stakes of 19.77 percent and 4.14 percent respectively, Roth Advisors with 6.42 percent, and International Finance Corporation with a 6.12 percent stake", according to the Reuters.

In 2000 year BVCP bought a 35,72 percent stake in the company for 5,28 million dollars. Thus, the fund at that time had estimated Yandex less than at 15 million dollars.

Yandex's founders and its shareholders are Arkady Volozh (owns 14,67 percent of the stakes) and Ilya Segalovich (3,07 percent of the stakes). Another 20,5 percent of shares belong to the U.S. Tiger Global fund, 5,13 percent are owned by UFG company. Among the minority of the shareholders of the company are Runet Holdings, owned by Leonid Boguslavsky and Alexander Voloshin, former head of President's Administration.

In addition, according to the Financial Times, Yandex' founders recently debuted on Forbes’ list of the richest Russians. The source says, that Arkady came in 114th with an estimated wealth of $900 million, and Ilya at came in at 159th most wealthy, with an estimated wealth of $600 million.

As we see, Russia is trying to show itself not as oil and gas sovereign. The Internet industry is developing very fast. In addition, Russia is home to Kaspersky Lab, the world known security firm.


Tags: Russian business Russian Internet    

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