Yandex and Sberbank announced today that the two companies have signed a non-binding term sheet to form a joint venture based on the Yandex.Market platform. The companies intend to combine the technological capabilities of Yandex and the infrastructure and technologies of Sberbank to develop a leading eCommerce ecosystem. The non-binding term sheet provides that Sberbank would invest 30 billion rubles (approximately $500M) into Yandex.Market, valuing it at 60 billion rubles (approximately $1B) on a post-money basis, before taking into account any potential future synergies. The two partners will own equal stakes in the joint venture. Up to ten percent of the company’s shares will be allocated for an equity incentive pool for Yandex.Market management and employees.
Yandex.Market will continue to operate under the current management team led by Maxim Grishakov, its Chief Executive Officer. He will join the board of directors of Yandex.Market, which will also include three other representatives from Yandex and three representatives from Sberbank.
“This proposed joint venture will create new benefits for our users. Sberbank’s banking and payments infrastructure will help us develop simple and secure payment solutions on the Yandex.Market platform and will allow us to introduce new features, such as consumer lending,” said Maxim Grishakov, CEO of Yandex.Market. “The proposed investment will strengthen Yandex.Market’s position in the eCommerce segment allowing us improve our logistics capabilities, accelerate the wide-scale introduction of “Checkout on Yandex.Market” and enhance our value proposition to domestic and international merchants,” added Maxim Grishakov.
“Sberbank’s role and contribution in the creation of a leading eCommerce player are important to the development of the Sberbank ecosystem, in addition to the economy as a whole. This partnership opens up new opportunities for Russian producers, eCommerce players, and small and medium businesses, unlocks opportunities for Russian exports abroad, and creates a new channel for international participants in the market. We’ve experienced successful cooperation with Yandex in other areas and we are excited to expand our partnership into this new strategic direction,” said Herman Gref, President and Chairman of the Board of Sberbank of Russia, and a member of the board of directors of Yandex N.V.
“Over 17 years ago we began developing eCommerce services simultaneously with our first search services. During this time, Yandex.Market has changed the way consumers select and buy products online. eCommerce is rapidly changing and today it’s more critical than ever to provide consumers with the ability to buy products on one site from multiple sources in a single, seamless transaction. We are at the center of this transition and we believe that this partnership with Sberbank will allow us to create substantial value,” said ArkadyVolozh, Chief Executive Officer of Yandex.
Yandex.Market is one of the largest players in the Russian eCommerce market, with over 100 billion rubles GMV in 2016. Yandex.Market serves a monthly audience of over 20 million users, giving them access to over 20,000 domestic and international merchants and 150 million product offerings..
Sberbank and Yandex have signed a non-binding term sheet with respect to the proposed joint venture. The transaction remains subject to the negotiation of definitive documentation and the completion of Sberbank’s due diligence. If and when definitive documents are signed, the transaction will be subject to regulatory approval in the Russian Federation. The parties anticipate that the transaction will close by the end of 2017. There can be no assurance that the transaction will ultimately close.