Yandex to acquire Uber’s interest in the JV “Yandex Self-Driving BV”

Yandex to acquire Uber’s interest in the JV “Yandex Self-Driving BV”


RusAutoNews.- Yandex announces that it has entered into a binding agreement with Uber to restructure the ownership of their joint ventures, MLU BV and Yandex Self-Driving BV.

Under this agreement, for total consideration of $1.0 billion in cash, Yandex will receive Uber’s 33.5% indirect interest in Yandex Eats, Yandex Lavka and Yandex Delivery, giving Yandex 100% ownership in all three businesses; Uber’s 18.2% interest in Yandex Self-Driving Group, giving Yandex 100% ownership in the business; and an additional 4.5% interest in the newly restructured MLU, which will focus on mobility businesses, giving Yandex and its employees a total of 71% ownership in the joint venture. This includes 68.3% ownership of Yandex and management in the JV; and 2.8% reserved for employee equity incentive program of MLU.

In addition, Yandex receives a two-year American call option to acquire the remaining 29% of Uber’s interest in the MLU at a strike price of $1.8 billion, subject to agreed increases over the option period – going up to approximately $2.0 billion, if exercised in September 2023. The newly restructured MLU will continue to focus on mobility businesses, including ride-hailing and car-sharing.

Yandex will also get an extension of the current license for the exclusive right to use the Uber brand in Russia and certain other countries until August 2030, assuming exercise of the option.

Tigran Khudaverdyan, Deputy CEO of Yandex has commented: “Since we started our partnership with Uber in 2018, we’ve been able to create and rapidly develop a number of successful businesses – all of them are highly synergetic to our e-commerce initiative and to the entire Yandex ecosystem. The consolidation of these businesses puts us in a great position to further increase strategic management flexibility, while creating new substantial growth potential for our businesses and cross-platform consumer benefits over the years to come, allowing us to unlock new sources of value for our shareholders.”

Yandex Self-Driving Group is Yandex’s autonomous driving technology unit, which has been developing proprietary self-driving technology since 2017. As of today, Yandex’s autonomous vehicle fleet has 170 cars, which have driven over 8 million autonomous miles on public roads in various weather and road conditions in three countries – Russia, Israel and the United States. Since late 2019, the company has also been developing its own delivery robot, Yandex Rover, aimed at the autonomous delivery of small and medium-sized packages.