Russian Search Giant Yandex Prices $1.2B IPO At $20 To $22 Per Share

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As we wrote last week, Yandex, one of the leading Internet companies in Russia, filed for a public offering on NASDAQ under the symbol “YNDX”. Today, the company is announcing price range of the offering, which will be $20.00 to $22.00 per share. The company aims to raise as much as $1.2 billion from the sales of its shares, according to the filing.

Yandex proposes to sell 15,400,000 shares in the offering and certain of its shareholders propose to sell an aggregate of 36,774,088 shares. In addition, Yandex and the selling shareholders have granted the underwriters an option to purchase, in aggregate, up to an additional 5,217,405 shares to cover over-allotments, if any. The total amount of shares offered in the filing is 52,174,088 shares.

Basically what this means is that $1.3 billion worth of shares will be sold, with as much as $338 million (at $22 per share) from the IPO going to Yandex and the rest going to the shareholders who sold stock.

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. The company says that in the past three years, Yandex generated more than 97% of its revenues from advertising.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the company had been given a preliminary valuation of between $6 billion and $9 billion.