MOSCOW :Nasdaq-listed Russian tech company Yandex said on Friday it had obtained one of the approvals needed from the Russian government for its planned restructuring, which it hopes to complete by the end of 2023.
Dutch holding company Yandex NV has been working on a restructuring for months, trying to ensure some of its businesses maintain access to Western markets in the wake of sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
The revamp is expected to involve the sale of its main revenue-generating Russian businesses, such as search and ride-hailing, and developing four other business lines internationally.
The Kremlin’s fear of a serious tech brain drain is the main factor preventing Moscow from nationalising Yandex, which is often dubbed “Russia’s Google”, four people with knowledge of the company’s divestment plans told Reuters in August.
Yandex, while reporting a 33 per cent drop in third-quarter adjusted net income, said its board remained committed to completing the restructuring and divesting all Russia-based businesses.
It said class A shareholders had now given consent for the merger of certain intermediate Dutch holding companies into Yandex NV.
“The company has also obtained one of the required approvals from the government commission for control over foreign investments … of the internal restructuring of the group, which is a pre-requisite for the divestiture,” Yandex said.
Russia’s government must grant approval for deals involving foreign asset sales and demands a 50 per cent discount on any sale and a contribution to the federal budget of at least 10 per cent of the sale price, dubbed an “exit tax” by Washington.
Yandex said it planned to take a restructuring proposal to shareholders for approval by the end of 2023.