MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russian internet giant Yandex’s Dutch holding company on Friday said it planned to divest ownership and control of most of Yandex Group, with the international divisions of some services to be developed outside Russia.
Yandex N.V. said it had started a “strategic process to review options to restructure the group’s ownership and governance in light of the current geopolitical environment”.
“As part of the intended restructuring of the group, the board anticipates that Yandex N.V. will in due course be renamed, with the business to be divested retaining exclusive rights for the use of the Yandex brand,” Yandex N.V. said in a statement.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and former finance minister Alexei Kudrin addressed the future of Yandex in a late-night meeting, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Friday.
Sources told Reuters that Kudrin, a long-time colleague of the president, is expected to leave his role as head of Russia’s Audit Chamber to take up a position with Yandex. One of the sources said that could happen in the coming weeks.
Yandex N.V. said the strategic process was at a preliminary stage and that any changes would ultimately require shareholder approval.
The company has set up a special committee charged with exploring various scenarios, including developing the international divisions of Yandex’s self-driving technologies cloud computing, data labelling, and edtech independently from Russia.
The Dutch parent said it would seek to divest ownership and control of all Yandex Group’s other businesses, which include the company’s dominant search and advertising unit, as well as ride-hailing and e-commerce.
(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, Darya Korsunskaya and Polina Devitt; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)