Yandex purchases Uber’s share in Yandex Self-Driving Group Deliveries, Eats and Lavka for as Low As $1B

Yandex, a Russian ride-hail and internet giant Yandex acquired Uber’s share in the Self-Driving Group’s (SDG) as well as Uber’s indirect stake in Yandex.Eats and Yandex.Delivery. It cost $1 billion and gave the Russian company 100 percent ownership of all four companies.

Yandex SDG, an autonomous technology spinout of MLU B.V. is Yandex’s ride-hailing joint venture Yandex and Uber. It was formed in 2018 through the merger Yandex.Taxi with Uber’s Russian operations. Uber owned a 36.6% share in the company at the time. Last year, when SDG was spun out into a separate business, Uber was left with an 18.2% stake in the company, which has just been bought out by Yandex. Yandex purchased Uber’s 33.5% combined interest in Yandex’s last-mile logistics, food delivery and convenience store delivery services.

Back in 2019, Yandex and Uber were reportedly considering an IPO for their JV, which Morgan Stanley estimated to be valued at around $7.7 billion. Yandex claims autonomous driving technology has “highly synergistic” to Yandex’s ecosystem which also includes ride-hailing and e-commerce. It is understandable that Uber would seek to own all that growth. Morgan Stanley estimated that their JV was worth around $7.7 billion. Uber, which reported a Q2 loss of $509 million before EBITDA this year, might be looking to make a lucrative exit and refocus its priorities closer to home. __S.10__

TechCrunch was told by a Yandex spokesperson that the acquisition would allow Yandex to increase its strategic management capabilities and flexibility in self-driving technologies. “It will unlock further growth potential for both Yandex and Yandex SDG, creating new sources of value for shareholders.”

The acquisitions are part of a larger restructuring of the MLU B.V. and Yandex SDG joint ventures, according to Uber’s SEC filing on Monday. These acquisitions will be made in two phases. Stage 1 will close in Q3 and Yandex will have a 4.5% stake in the MLU. This will allow Yandex to focus on mobility business like car-sharing or ride-hailing. Yandex now has 71% of the JV’s total ownership, with 2.8% reserved for employee equity programs. Uber is expected to sell its 18.2% total stake in SDG during the initial stage.

Stage 2 is set to be completed by the end this year. It includes delivery from MLU, the demergering of Yandex.Eats and Yandex.Lavka, and the subsequent purchase of Uber’s interests in these businesses.

Yandex will be eligible for a 2-year American call option that allows Uber to purchase the remaining MLU interest at an additional fixed price of $1.8billion, subject to agreed increases during the option period. If the option is exercised by 2023, this number will rise to $2 billion. Uber will continue to be used in Russia by the Russian company until August 2030.

Yandex also will be granted an extension to the existing license that allows Uber’s exclusive use in Russia, and other countries, until August 2030. This is assuming Yandex exercises the option. Yandex stock rose 5.16% Tuesday, closing at market close.

Publiated at Tue 31 August 2021 21.11:01 +0000

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