London– The Dutch owner of Yandex which is touted as “Russia’s Google” has announced to divest its Russia-based businesses for $5.2 billion.

Yandex NV, the Dutch parent company of the Yandex group has entered into a definitive agreement with a purchaser consortium to sell all of the Yandex group’s businesses in Russia and certain international markets.

The total consideration for the sale will be 475 billion ruble (around $5.2 billion) and at least 50 per cent will be paid in cash.

“Since February 2022, the Yandex group and our team have faced exceptional challenges. We believe that we have found the best possible solution for our shareholders, our teams and our users in these extraordinary circumstances,” said John Boynton, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Yandex NV.

“The proposed transaction will allow shareholders to recover some value for the businesses that we are divesting, while unlocking new growth potential for the international businesses we will retain and enabling the divested businesses to operate under new ownership,” Boynton said in a statement.

Following the successful completion of the transaction, in full compliance with international sanctions where applicable, the company will hold no interest in its businesses in Russia.

The Russian government welcomed the deal.

“This is exactly what we wanted to achieve a few years ago when Yandex was under threat of being taken over by Western IT giants,” said Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the Russian parliament’s committee on information policy.

“Yandex is more than a company, it is an asset of the entire Russian society,” he added.

Launched in 1997, the firm is the largest technology company in Russia. It had more than 30 offices worldwide in 2018. Its main competitors in the Russian market are Google, Microsoft, VK, and Rambler.

On May 17, 2023, Yandex launched its YaGPT neural network, like the ChatGPT AI model. (IANS)