Yandex has bought Uber’s stakes in its Self-Driving Group and indirect interests of Uber in Yandex.Eats, Yandex.Lavka and Yandex.Delivery. The total amount involved in the deal is $1 billion. The deal also gave the company total ownership in all four businesses. Yandex is a Russian internet and ride-hail company.
In 2018, Yandex and Uber came together to form the MLU B.V., a ride-hailing, and food delivery service. Yandex SDG came out from this venture. During the joint operations, Uber had a 36.6% stake in the company. When SDG was made a separate business Uber’s stake decreased to 18.2%. This is what Yandex bought recently. Yandex also acquired Uber’s 33.5% collective interest in their food delivery service, logistics service, and 15- minute convenience store delivery service. Yandex and Uber were originally planning for an IPO for their joint venture in 2019. The autonomous driving technology is highly required for the Yandex ecosystem. This made the company want to have total control of that technology. Uber was experiencing a loss in its Q2 revenues and it made them back out from the venture faster.
Yandex states that the acquisition will help Yandex to enhance the management and flexibility capacity of the self-driving technology. It will also help the company to achieve more growth potential. The acquisitions are also part of restructuring the MLU B.V. and Yandex SDG joint ventures. The restructuring will happen in two phases. The first phase will end with this year’s Q3. It will give Yandex a 4.5% interest in MLU. It will put more attention on mobility businesses like ride-hailing and car-sharing. It will also provide a 71% ownership to Yandex, of which 2.8% will be put aside for an employee equity incentive program. The second phase will conclude by the end of this year. This focusses on the demerger of Yandex.Eats, Yandex.Lavka and Yandex.Delivery from MLU and acquiring Uber’s interest shares in these businesses.
Yandex is also reported to have a two-year American call option to buy the rest of Uber’s interest in the joint venture for a price of $1.8 billion. This amount will increase to $2 billion if the acquisition happens in 2023. Yandex can also continue using the Uber brand in Russia and other countries until August 2030. The option also gives Yandex the choice to continue the current license of using the Uber brand. The announcement of the acquisition gave Yandex’s stock a 5.16% increase.