In a significant move shaking the tech and business sectors, Yandex NV, the company behind Russia’s biggest internet platform, is stepping out of Russia. This decision is a direct result of the tension from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, leading to the sale of its businesses in Russia and some neighboring areas.
As Yandex moves forward, it’s looking to change its focus. The company plans to work more on artificial intelligence (AI) and grow its business worldwide, leaving its Russian roots behind. This step also includes changing its name and identity to match its new direction. This story is not just about Yandex but also shows how companies have to adapt to political changes and the challenges they face in doing so.
Yandex NV exits Russia
Yandex started in 1997 and quickly became known as Russia’s answer to Google, offering everything from web search to online shopping, maps, and ride-hailing services. The company went public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the United States in 2011 and later in Moscow, aiming to expand its reach beyond Russian borders. But after Ukraine was invaded, Yandex’s stock prices fell, and it was eventually removed from the Nasdaq.
With Western sanctions piling up, Yandex found it tough to keep operating in Russia. Arkady Volozh’s CEO had to leave the company after the EU put him on a sanctions list. Yandex has been trying to sell off parts of its business, including its news platform, and announced plans to change how the company is structured to distance itself from Russia further. The company also plans to drop the Yandex name from its Dutch parent company, marking a significant shift in its identity and focus.
The deal’s value is about $5.2 billion, which is a big drop from what the company was originally worth. This price cut comes from a Russian rule that forces companies from countries it doesn’t get along with, like the Netherlands, where Yandex is registered, to sell their Russian assets at half price. You can find Yandex’s full press release here.
Yandex NV stock
According to Breaking The News, after the news of the sale came out, Yandex NV’s stock price took a 7% dive, showing that investors are closely watching how the company is navigating these changes. The deal will hand over Yandex’s Russian operations to a new entity in Kaliningrad, bought by a group that includes Yandex’s Russian managers and some investors. The company made sure not to deal with anyone facing sanctions.
This move is not just about selling off assets; it’s a strategic pivot towards international markets and cutting-edge AI technology. Yandex NV is planning to focus on building up its AI startups around the world, backed by a team of engineers and developers who have moved out of Russia since the war began.
The exit from Russia is a big deal for Yandex, setting it apart from other foreign companies that have had to leave behind their Russian operations, often at great loss. Yandex managed to negotiate a cash deal, putting it in a better position to invest in its future growth in AI and technology on a global scale.
As Yandex NV prepares to reinvent itself, dropping its well-known brand name in favor of a new identity focused on AI, it marks a significant transformation. The company is moving from its roots as a leading Russian internet service to becoming a global tech innovator. This pivot could redefine Yandex’s path forward, as it aims to capitalize on the burgeoning AI market and leave its complex past behind.
Featured image credit: Yandex