With one of the possible options, the state bank will gain control over the company, business media write.
How exactly the deal will be arranged, while difficult to say. According to the publications, the parties are considering several options. With one of them, Sberbank will receive actual control over the company with the help of voting shares. According to The Bell, the parties discuss the additional issue, the repurchase of shares from the market and the sale of part of the shares by the main shareholders. The bank also wants to get a veto in Yandex on key issues.
Vedomosti found that Sberbank representatives are aiming to buy at least 30% of Yandex shares. However, The Bell indicated that the bank claims a stake of up to 30% in the capital of an IT company. Sberbank is the favorite, but does not appear to be the only contender for Yandex shares, Vedomosti said.
According to The Bell, Sberbank explains the deal with an opportunity to protect Yandex from possible problems with competitors and with the state. “Vedomosti” also cites another version, according to which the authorities are dissatisfied with the “excessive independence” of the company.
Yandex has two types of shares – Type A shares, which give their owners in voting at the shareholders’ meeting one vote and Type B shares, each of which gives ten votes.
Volozh – the largest shareholder of the company – prior to the beginning of this year owned 10.35% of the capital of “Yandex” and controlled 49.2% of the votes of shareholders. In the second quarter, the company reported that Volozh’s share of capital had dropped to 9.8%. As his share in votes has changed, the company will report only in the annual report.
Only three shareholders of Yandex control more than 5% of votes or capital – in addition to Volozh, this is one of the oldest search engine employees Vladimir Ivanov (3.83% of capital and 6.23% of votes) and the American company WMC (5.12% of capital and , 46% of the vote).
So, if Sberbank gets Volozh’s shares or the right to vote on them, it will be controlled by Yandex.
Officially, Sberbank stated that they “did not receive offers to buy back shares” of “Yandex” and did not apply to them. Yandex refused to comment on “rumors”.
After reporting the negotiations, the market reacted by dropping Yandex shares on the NASDAQ. Their cost has decreased by almost 6%.
— Стартапы и бизнес (@vcru) October 18, 2018
Since 2009, Sberbank has owned a “golden” or priority share of Yandex, thanks to which a credit institution has the right to block the sale of more than 25% of search engine shares. Sberbank cannot independently transfer a “golden” share or mortgage it – this is a guarantee that foreigners will not receive control over an Internet asset in Russia.