On its 12th birthday, the leading Russian search engine company, Yandex announced that it has issued a priority (“golden“) share to Russia’s largest bank, Savings Bank of the Russian Federation (Sberbank) for the nominal par value of EUR 1. As a result, Sberbank has rights to veto accumulation of stakes in Yandex N.V., owner of 100 percent of the Russian Yandex, in excess of 25 percent by a single entity or a group of related parties. The “golden” share neither gives Sberbank any rights to influence operating decisions nor provides the bank with a sit on Yandex’ Board of Directors.
As owner of priority share, Sberbank met the following criteria of Yandex’ shareholders. It is a public company, which is controlled by the Russian government. It has no any conflicts of interest with Yandex in either Internet or media market.
Launched in September 1997, Yandex is the largest Russian internet company. Yandex reported revenues of more than $300 million in 2008. Its net income exceeded $100 million last year.
Yandex was valued at $1.1 billion when the private equity funds UFG, BVCP and Tiger acquired a 9 percent stake in the company from private shareholders.