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Yandex granted Nasdaq lifeline subject to Russia restructuring

Published Jun 08, 2023 04:30AM ET Updated Jun 08, 2023 04:35AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russian technology giant Yandex is on display at the company's headquarters in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
 
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By Alexander Marrow

(Reuters) - Russian internet firm Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) on Thursday said it had been granted permission to retain its Nasdaq Stock Exchange listing provided the restructuring and divestment of its Russian business is concluded by the end of 2023.

Often dubbed "Russia's Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)", Yandex is making progress on a corporate restructuring plan that should see it divest ownership and control of core, Russia-based businesses, in what could be one of Russia's most significant corporate deals this year.

Russian billionaires including Vladimir Potanin, CEO and the largest shareholder of metals giant Nornickel, and Vagit Alekperov, co-founder and a major shareholder in oil major Lukoil, are among the bidders for assets ultimately valued around $14 billion, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters last month.

Given Kremlin measures that oblige foreign companies leaving Russia to sell their assets at a 50% discount, shareholders in Yandex's Dutch-registered holding company Yandex NV, most of whom are Western investment funds, could ultimately make about $7 billion from a full divestment.

Yandex, which has confirmed that it has received proposals from a number of investors, said the Nasdaq hearing's panel notified it of the decision to keep its listing on June 6.

"(The decision is) subject to certain conditions related to the timing and implementation of Yandex's proposed corporate restructuring, including the divestment of ownership and control of a number of our core businesses, including all Russia-based businesses, by the end of 2023," it said.

A trading halt, implemented on Feb. 28, 2022, will remain in effect, Yandex said. Its Moscow-listed shares were 2.5% higher as of 0823 GMT, outperforming the wider market.

Russian e-commerce firm Ozon had its appeal against delisting rejected by Nasdaq, Ozon said late on Wednesday. Trading in Ozon's American depositary receipts (ADRs) would be suspended on Thursday, the company said, though not delisted until the appeals process is completed. It intends to seek a review of the decision.

Recruiter Headhunter and payment service provider Qiwi (NASDAQ:QIWI) also appealed delisting decisions in March.

Yandex granted Nasdaq lifeline subject to Russia restructuring
 

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Comments (1)
Ro Md
rmcTs Jun 08, 2023 8:01AM ET
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Question(s) in regards to Qiwi -  wouldn't Nasdaq delisting (i.e., moving to OTC) open opportunity to trade with ADRs? Can someone share some thoughts, why is Nasdaq delisting bad for the ADRs that are halted from trading anyway? What is worst scenario for a micro ADRs holder?
 
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