Yandex NV (NASDAQ: YNDX) has acquired Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) stake in its Self-Driving Group (SDG). It has also acquired its indirect stake in Yandex.Lavka, Yandex.Eats and Yandex.Delivery. Yandex paid $1 billion for 100% ownership of the four businesses. According to experts, Uber reported a Q2 loss of $509 million and might be looking to pull out while still making money.
Yandex and Uber end collaboration
Yandex SDG is a spinout from MLU B.V., a food delivery and ride-hailing company Yandex and Uber formed together in 2018 by bringing together Yandex.Taxi and Uber’s Russian division. Uber initially had a 36% stake in the company. After SDG was turned into a separate entity in 2020, Uber’s stake declined to 18.2%. Yandex has now acquired the remaining stake. Yandex also owns Uber’s interest (33.5%) in Yandex’s food delivery business, 15-minute convenience store delivery service and last-mile logistics service.
In 2019, There were reports that Uber and Yandex considered an IPO for their JV, which would be valued at about $7.7 billion. This decision came from a desire by Yandex to control potential growth since its autonomous driving technology is vital in the company’s businesses such as food-tech business, ride-hailing and e-commerce.
In a statement from a Yandex spoke-person, the acquisition will allow Yandex to enhance its flexibility and strategic management regarding self-driving technology. It will also enable further growth for Yandex SDG and Yandex hence drive up stock value for the company’s shareholders.
Acquisitions are part of a restructuring of Yandex SDG and MLU B.V.
The acquisitions are the beginning of restructuring for MLU B.V and Yandex SDG, which occur in 2 stages. Stage 1 will give Yandex an interest of 4.5% in MLU, which will focus on transport businesses like car-sharing and ride-hailing. Yandex stake’s in the JV will increase to 78%. Uber will sell their 18.2% stake during this stage.
Stage 2 include the separation of Yandex.Delivery, Yandex.Lavka and Yandex.Eats from MLU. Yandex also plans to acquire Uber’s stake in these businesses.
Yandex will get an extension for their license to use the Uber brand in Russia until August 2030. They will also continue to use the Uber brand in Russia and other countries until August 2030.