Russian Search Giant Yandex Seeks To Raise Up To $1 Billion In IPO

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Yandex, one of the leading Internet companies in Russia, this morning announced that it has filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed initial public offering, as expected. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined, but the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the company had been given a preliminary valuation of between $6 billion and $9 billion ahead of the filing.

According to the filing, the proposed maximum aggregate offering price amounts to $1 billion, which should give you an indication of how much Yandex seeks to raise.

A portion of the shares will be issued by Yandex, and a portion will be sold by certain of its shareholders. Yandex will list its Class A ordinary shares on NASDAQ (symbol: “YNDX”).

Yandex operates the most popular search engine and the most visited website in Russia (it is also the largest Russian Internet company by revenue). In 2010, the company generated 64% of all search traffic in Russian, trumping Google.

In March 2011, Yandex.ru website attracted 38.3 million unique visitors. Aside from Russia, Yandex has operations in Belarus (yandex.by), Kazakhstan (yandex.kz) and Ukraine (yandex.ua). Total revenues for 2010 hovered around $440 million.

Based on the filing, net income for 2010 was $134 million.

Founded back in 1997, Yandex has been reported to be preparing an IPO before, with talks dating back all the way to 2006. In 2008, the company planned for an initial public offering but quickly moved to indefinitely delay those plans due to the global economic turmoil.

Yandex is among the largest high-tech companies in Russia, with an estimated workforce of about 2,500 employees. Currently, Yandex has branches all over Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kazan), Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa, Simferopol) and in the United States (in Palo Alto, CA, to be exact).

Morgan Stanley is acting as sole global coordinator for the proposed offering. Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint bookrunners.

The SEC filing follows in the footsteps of fellow Russian Internet giant Mail.ru’s successful listing – the company raised roughly $1 billion at the end of last year.

Also read:

Russian search giant Yandex partners with local Facebook-clone VKontakte
Russian search engine Yandex gets a semantic injection
Yandex acquires WebVisor’s behavior analysis technology, team
Yandex acquires Loginza, the single sign-in plugin maker

Yandex IPO to Make Dozens of Yandex Employees Millionaires (Quintura blog)