MOSCOW and THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Dec. 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yandex and Sberbank of Russia today announced a strategic partnership in the area of e-money, through the establishment of a joint venture on the Yandex.Money platform. Yandex and Sberbank plan to be at the forefront of developing innovative online retail payment solutions by combining Sberbank's banking expertise and Yandex's internet technologies.
Sberbank and Yandex will form a joint venture through the acquisition by Sberbank of a 75% interest in the charter capital of Yandex.Money for $60M, with Yandex retaining a blocking interest in the JV (25% plus one ruble). Evgenia Zavalishina, Yandex.Money's current CEO, will head the JV. The JV's board of directors will include two representatives of Yandex – Evgenia Zavalishina and the company's CEO Arkady Volozh, joined by three members representing Sberbank of Russia - Alexandr Torbakhov, Denis Bugrov and Viktor Orlovskiy.
Developer teams of Yandex.Money and Sberbank have already started together on planning new projects. New products will leverage existing Yandex.Money technologies and will be released under the Yandex.Money brand. Yandex.Money users will remain customers of the existing legal entity Yandex.Money, a non-banking credit organization operating under a license issued by the Central Bank of Russia.
"Expanding our presence in the digital world and developing online solutions is one of our operational priorities. In Yandex, we have found the optimal partner to significantly strengthen our position in the fast growing market of electronic commerce and internet payments," said Herman Gref, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of Sberbank. "Yandex.Money products have become an industry standard for electronic payments in the Russian. We are investing not just in internet technology, but rather in an independent profitable business which is keen to considerably expand its customer base."
"The universe of online payments is changing at an extremely rapid pace and the potential for electronic payments extends far beyond the internet. We have long been looking for a partnership in finance to help drive our business to a new level. But this opportunity has been considered only in the context of a joint development of our service. We are very happy that Sberbank has become our partner," said Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex.
"A leap in quality is only possible with a very strong partner. And Sberbank of Russia is the largest bank in Eastern Europe ," said Evgenia Zavalishina, chair of Yandex.Money's board of directors. "The bank's team has an extensive experience and expertise in finance, along with tens of millions of clients, many of whom do not yet have much online experience. In turn, Yandex, has tens of millions of internet users and an extensive experience in developing highly popular consumer services. By combining efforts, we are aiming to create unique products to meet the growing needs of all consumers."
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013. At this time all the key terms and conditions have been agreed and the timeline for closing the deal is subject to standard conditions precedent to similar deals being satisfied, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals.
Advisors to Sberbank on the deal: Sberbank CIB (financial advisor), White&Case (legal counsel), KPMG (financial, tax, commercial and IT due diligence). Advisors to Yandex: Morgan Stanley (financial advisor), WilmerHale and Laseta Partners (legal counsel).
Yandex (Nasdaq:YNDX) is one of Europe's largest internet companies providing the world with search and online services one market at a time. Yandex's mission is to help users solve their everyday problems by building people-centric products and services. Based on innovative technologies, the company offers the most relevant, locally tailored experience on all digital platforms and devices. Yandex is the leading internet search service in Russia with 60.2% of the country's search market (according to LiveInternet, November 2012) and a monthly audience of 50.4 million (according to comScore, October 2012). Yandex also operates in Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. More information on Yandex can be found at http://company.yandex.com.
The Yandex Company logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10933
Yandex.Money is the largest electronic payment system on the Russian internet, offering easy, safe and reliable methods for paying for purchases online. Every day, the system adds more than 9,000 new accounts to its user base of more than 12 million. In the first three quarters of 2012, Yandex.Money's revenue exceeded RUR 370 million (see Yandex Financial Results http://ir.yandex.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=717047). According to TNS, 15% of the Russian population make payments with Yanex.Money at least once in six months.
Sberbank of Russia is the largest bank of Russia that holds about one third of the Russian banking assets. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and major shareholder of Sberbank of Russia OJSC owning 50% plus one voting share in its Charter Capital. Other shares are held by more than 245,000 individuals and legal entities. The bank has the most extensive branch network in Russia: about 19,000 branch offices and internal structural divisions. The foreign network of the Bank is comprised of subsidiaries, branch offices and representative offices in 20 countries, including CIS countries, Central and Eastern Europe, and Turkey. In September 2012, Sberbank completed the deal on acquiring DenizBank, which is ranked as 6th among private banks in Turkey and 9th among Turkish domestic banks by total consolidated assets.
The number of the General License of the Bank of Russia for banking transactions is 1481.
The bank's official website - www.sberbank.ru.
CONTACT: Investor Relations Dmitry Barsukov, Katya Zhukova Phone: +7 495 739-70-00 E-mail: askIR@yandex-team.ru US Investor Contact The Blueshirt Group, for Yandex Alex Wellins Phone: +1 415 217-58-61 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Media Relations Ochir Mandzhikov, Dina Litvinova Phone: +7 495 739-70-00 E-mail: email@example.com