Yandex-Uber JV in talks with Morgan Stanley, Goldman for IPO

Signs for the Yandex.Taxi online booking service sit on taxi cabs operated by the Nexi taxi service, a unit of ASAP Transportation Co., in a parking bay in Moscow, Russia. Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Russian search engine Yandex NV’s ride-hailing unit, part-owned by Uber Technologies Inc., is in talks to hire Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage its initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the matter.

MLU BV, as the unit is legally known, is preparing for a dual-listing in Russia and the U.S., the person said, who asked not to be identified as the talks are confidential. Yandex first flagged in 2017 that it intends to list its taxi arm. Uber listed its group business in May, but has since suffered a 30% share price slide.

Yandex.Taxi has discussed a wide range of potential valuations for the business ranging from $5 billion to $8 billion, depending on final make-up of the listed business as well as investor demand, the person said. Analysts at Goldman Sachs recently valued the unit at $7.7 billion, according to estimates seen by Bloomberg News.

“An IPO is something we are considering as we have said previously, and we work with a number of banks on a variety of issues,” a Yandex.Taxi spokesman said. Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Goldman Sachs did not respond in time for publication. Both banks worked on the IPO of Yandex’s search engine business in 2011. No final decision has been made and Yandex could opt to keep the unit.

Uber agreed to cede control in its operations in Russia and former Soviet Union to Yandex two years ago. The joint-venture, controlled by Yandex and 37% owned by Uber, was valued at $3.8 billion when formed in February 2018.

The unit, which also includes food delivery and self-driving cars, turned profitable in the second quarter of this year. It is not yet clear whether self-driving and food delivery would be included in the IPO, the person said.

Yandex has been expanding to a number of different businesses including car-sharing, e-commerce, online cinema and classifieds. However its shares have come under pressure after Russian legislators recently mulled a law limiting foreign ownership in “significant information resources.”

Bloomberg

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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