Yandex buys out Uber from joint ventures in US$1b deal

People walk outside the headquarters of Yandex company in Moscow, September 14, 2015. — Reuters pic
People walk outside the headquarters of Yandex company in Moscow, September 14, 2015. — Reuters pic

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MOSCOW, Aug 31 — Russian IT giant Yandex said today it had reached a US$1 billion (RM4.1 billion) deal to buy out ride-hailing service Uber from several joint ventures, squeezing the US company out of ex-Soviet markets.

Under the deal, Yandex will buy Uber’s stake in their shared food delivery operations and a business that develops self-driving vehicles, gaining 100 per cent ownership.

Yandex will also increase to 71 per cent its stake in transport ventures with Uber — including taxi and car-sharing services — with an option to purchase the remaining shares for up to US$2 billion. 

The transactions will be completed by the end of the year, Yandex said.

Uber and Yandex had combined their ride-sharing businesses in Russia and neighbouring ex-Soviet countries in 2018.

Frequently dubbed Russia’s Google, Yandex started out as a leading search engine and developed into one of the country’s greatest tech success stories.

The New York-listed company dominates Russia’s IT sector, taxi-hailing services and food delivery operations with its army of bicycle couriers and multiple warehouses known as “dark stores”.

Yandex’s food delivery services skyrocketed last year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic drove Russian cities into lockdown. 

Yandex.Lavka — which delivers groceries in as few as 15 minutes — has expanded to France and is also preparing to launch in London. — AFP

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