Thursday, 21 September, 2017

Yandex Taxi and Uber decide to ride together

Uber and Russia's Yandex Taxi announced a deal to join operations Uber merges its eastern European arm with Russian rival Yandex
Garry Little | 14 July, 2017, 00:14

The new company, valued at 3.7 billion USA dollars (£2.8 billion), will operate in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia and will be 59% owned by Yandex, 37% by Uber and 4% by staff. According to the deal, the companies will combine their businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia. As part of the deal, which is yet to clear regulatory hurdles, Uber will be investing $225 million cash, take three out of seven seats in the new company's board and walk away with 36.6% ownership worth nearly $1.4 billion. Both here and in an additional several countries will be home to a new joint company owned by both Yandex and Uber.

Shares of Yandex N.V. (NASDAQ: YNDX) saw a handy gain on Thursday after the company announced a new agreement with the ride-sharing service Uber.

Yandex will be the leading partner, with Yandex Taxi Chief Executive Tigran Khudaverdyan becoming the combined company's CEO.

"This deal is a testament to our exceptional growth in the region and helps Uber continue to build a sustainable global business", says Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Head of Uber in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 2016, the English-language Moscow Times reported on the three-way fight for business between Uber, Yandex.Taxi, and the Israeli company Gett. It is about twice the size of Uber's, according to data released to investors Thursday. Together, they deliver about 35 million rides each month.

While Uber no longer exists in China, the paper value of its stake in Didi has risen to around $8 billion from $6.1 billion, based on Didi's recent funding round valued at $50 billion.

That Uber is putting more cash into the new company, yet is only gaining a little more than one-third of the ownership, indicates that Yandex holds a much larger share of the local market and Uber has effectively failed to overturn the incumbents. NewCo will keep both brands operational, but unveiled plans to introduce a common technological platform to drivers.

The difference between the Didi deal and the Yandex deal, however, is that there are no Uber properties that are continuing to operate in China. The driver apps, however, will be combined.

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