Uber is selling stakes in several Russian businesses for $1 billion


Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi speaks at a product launch event in San Francisco, California on September 26, 2019.

Philip Pacheco | AFP via Getty Images

Uber is selling shares in several joint ventures that it has with Russia’s Yandex for $1 billion in cash.

The deal, announced on Tuesday, will see Moscow-headquartered Yandex buy out Uber and gain full control of food delivery service Yandex.Eats, grocery delivery service Yandex.Lavka, and logistics firm Yandex.Delivery.

Uber currently has a 33.5% stake in each of the companies.

Yandex, whose search engine is more widely used in Russia than Google search is, said it is also taking full control of the Yandex Self-Driving Group, of which Uber currently owns 18.2%. 

 “Since we started our partnership with Uber in 2018, we’ve been able to create and rapidly develop a number of successful businesses — all of them are highly synergetic to our e-commerce initiative and to the entire Yandex ecosystem,” said Tigran Khudaverdyan, deputy CEO of Yandex, in a statement.

“The consolidation of these businesses puts us in a great position to further increase strategic management flexibility, while creating new substantial growth potential for our businesses and cross-platform consumer benefits over the years to come, allowing us to unlock new sources of value for our shareholders.”

The deal will also see Yandex take an additional 4.5% in MLU, which is the joint venture it set up when it merged its taxi business with Uber in 2018.

Uber did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.

The coronavirus pandemic has allowed delivery businesses to flourish as lockdowns prevented people from entering physical stores.

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Greg Abovsky, COO and CFO of Yandex Group, told CNBC last year that Yandex.Lavka was six times bigger in May 2020 than it was in January 2020.

Yandex, which had almost $3 billion to hand at the end of the second quarter, is also expanding its online shopping and streaming businesses.

It is one of several Russian firms aiming to evolve into a Chinese-style super app that offers users a plethora of products and services.

Yandex bought a small bank earlier this year as it looks to expand into financial services, as did Russia’s two biggest e-commerce firms: Ozon and Wildberries.

 



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