Yandex to Sell New Shares in IPO: Executive

Yandex.Taxi, Russia’s biggest online taxi service, will likely sell new shares in its planned initial public offering (IPO), an executive at its majority shareholder Yandex told Reuters.

Greg Abovsky, chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Yandex, said Yandex had yet to decide on a stock exchange for the IPO of Yandex.Taxi, or the timing and size of the deal.

“But we consider the Moscow Exchange an important exchange. At the same time, it should be taken into account that Uber is trading on the NYSE, and (rival taxi firm) Lyft on NASDAQ,” Abovsky said.

The Russian internet and tech company merged its taxi services business with U.S. group Uber across Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan in 2018 to create an enlarged Yandex.Taxi.

The company was valued at more than $3.8 billion at the time. Yandex holds a 59.3% stake, Uber has 36.6% and Yandex.Taxi staff own 4.1%. Since 2017, the firm has entered Israel, the food delivery sector and other areas.

Yandex itself trades on NASDAQ and has a market capitalization of almost $13 billion, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. Uber’s market capitalization is $73 billion.

“We as Yandex would not like to sell a single share – we would rather be a buyer, than a seller. But I guess some shares would have to be sold, obviously, – and most likely, these will be primary shares, not secondary,” Abovsky said, referring to new shares issued by the company rather than existing ones. “Given that the company (Yandex.Taxi) has $400 million of cash on its balance sheet, the amount of primary shares that would be sold will be small to minimize our dilution.”

“(At the same time) A certain amount of liquidity is needed for … an IPO to be interesting for investors. Small IPOs trade poorly and are poorly received by the market,” Abovsky added, according to Reuters.