MOSCOW and THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Yandex (Nasdaq:YNDX) and Sberbank of Russia OJSC today announced the completion of the previously announced joint venture for electronic money solutions. Under the terms of the deal, Sberbank has acquired 75% interest (minus one ruble) in the charter capital of Yandex.Money for approximately $60M. The key objective of this strategic partnership is to drive innovation in online retail payment solutions.
The Yandex-Sberbank joint venture aims to create a general-purpose payment solution for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as to make recurring payments and transactions simpler for both online and offline customers. As the first step towards streamlining online payments, beginning in June 2013, Sberbank has waived its commission for Yandex.Money top-ups from any bank card at its ATMs and payment terminals.
The Yandex.Money team will leverage Sberbank's infrastructure to develop new online payment solutions based on Yandex's technologies. Customers of Yandex.Money will continue to be served by Yandex.Money, a non-banking credit organization operating under a license issued by the Central Bank of Russia.
Evgenia Zavalishina, CEO of Yandex.Money since 2006, will head the new joint venture. The JV's board of directors will include two representatives of Yandex – Evgenia Zavalishina and Yandex's CEO Arkady Volozh, joined by three members representing Sberbank of Russia - Alexander Torbakhov, Denis Bugrov and Svyatoslav Ostrovsky.
Yandex will retain a substantial interest in the JV (25% plus one ruble). Yandex will stop consolidating the financial results of Yandex.Money beginning with the third quarter of 2013.
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 61.6% of the country's search market (according to LiveInternet, June 2013) and a monthly audience of 54.3 million (according to comScore, May 2013). Yandex also operates in Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. More information about Yandex can be found at http://company.yandex.com.
Sberbank of Russia is the largest bank in Russia and holds almost one third of aggregate Russian banking sector assets. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and principal shareholder of Sberbank owning 50% of the Bank's authorized capital plus one voting share. The rest of the shares are held by international and domestic investors. More than 100 million individual customers bank with Sberbank and about 1 million of businesses. The Bank has the largest distribution network in Russia with more than 18,000 offices as well as subsidiaries in 20 countries including the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.
The Bank holds the general banking license No.1481 issued by the Bank of Russia.
The official website is www.sberbank.ru.
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 14 million (as of July 2013) and handles over 120,000 payments for products and services. According to TNS, Yandex.Money is Russia's best known payment service, with 84% of the Russian population having heard of it, while 17% make payments with Yandex.Money at least once in six months. Currently, Yandex.Money is accepted in over 20,000 internet stores in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These include statements regarding the future of the Yandex.Money business and the success of this joint venture. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted or implied by such statements. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from the results predicted or implied by such statements include, among others, competitive pressures, changes in advertising patterns, changes in user preferences, changes in the legal and regulatory environment, and technological developments, as well as those risks and uncertainties included under the captions "Risk Factors" and "Operating and Financial Review and Prospects" in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2012, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is available on our investor relations website at http://ir.yandex.com/sec.cfm and on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. All information in this release and in the attachments is as of July 4, 2013, and Yandex undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by law.