"Yandex" can go under the state administration

    Sberbank is negotiating the purchase of Yandex shares, a source familiar with one of the bank’s top managers told Vedomosti. According to him, at least two options are considered:

    • obtaining by the state bank actual control over the company (with the help of voting shares);
    • purchase at least 20% of the shares.

    In the perspective of the transfer of “Yandex” to the state administration, the company's shares since yesterday fell by 8% . In less than a day, the company lost approximately $ 1.5 billion in capitalization.

    The state bank itself denies the fact of negotiations. Arkady Volozh declined to comment, but the market clearly believes in rumors. In a comment to Vedomosti, the fact of the negotiations was confirmed by a federal official and a person who knows this from another federal official. One of them said that Sberbank is not the only applicant for the purchase of Yandex.

    The transition of “Yandex” to the state administration almost inevitably involves participation in the transaction of Arkady Volozh, the largest shareholder of the company. According to the standard scheme, Yandex issued Class A shares (1 vote) and Class B shares (10 votes). Until the beginning of this year, the largest shareholder owned 10.35% of the capital and 49.2% of the votes, but this year Arkady began to gradually sell the shares and his share fell to 9.8%.

    Other largest shareholders are one of the first employees of the company, Vladimir Ivanov (3.83% of capital, 6.23% of votes) and the American company WMC (5.12% of capital, 2.46% of votes).

    Until now, Sberbank owned only the “golden share”, which gives the right to veto the sale of more than 25% of the shares in Yandex. Sberbank acquired the "golden share" in 2009 for 1 euro. Since then, the cooperation of partners has developed: first, a joint venture Yandex.Money was launched, then German Gref joined the board of directors of Yandex, and last year the partners launched the online store Beru on Yandex.Market.

    The idea of ​​transferring “Yandex” to the state administration was repeatedly expressed by officials and security officials. Meetings on this topic were held at the highest level. The reason is a large media activity and the inability to control the system, says a person who knows about this from another official. “The process [of taming Yandex) is,” he concluded.

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