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No Deal For Russia’s Yandex Merger With Dutch Tinkoff Group

Russian search giant Yandex said in a statement on Friday (Oct. 16) that merger talks with TCS Group Holding (Tinkoff) have fallen apart.

“Yandex regrets to confirm that it has not been able to agree to definitive transaction terms with the core shareholders of Tinkoff, and accordingly that the parties have mutually agreed to terminate discussions regarding a possible offer by Yandex for 100% of the share capital of Tinkoff,” Yandex said in a press release.

Yandex, incorporated in the Netherlands, is one of the biggest internet firms in Europe and the largest ride-hailing and search platform in Russia. The merger deal was originally announced last month. TCS Group Holding is the parent company of the Russian lender Tinkoff Bank.

“We wish to express our appreciation for the efforts Tinkoff has made in pursuing our discussions, and our continued respect for the Tinkoff team. We wish them well for their future endeavors,” Yandex said in the release.

Last month’s preliminary deal was set at $5.5 billion in cash and shares, according to a Bloomberg report.

According to a letter seen by Bloomberg to employees at TCS Group Holding, Russian billionaire founder Oleg Tinkov said the merger talks discussed creating “Russia’s biggest non-state company. It turned out they just wanted to buy Tinkoff Bank.”

Tigran Khudaverdyan, deputy chief executive officer of Yandex, sent a letter to its employees, also seen by Bloomberg, that announced plans to build its own FinTech capabilities.

“We were constantly making concessions to Oleg and were eager to keep his role in managing the bank and helping Yandex as well,” Khudaverdyan said. “Unfortunately, after each stage of negotiations Oleg raised new requirements.”

Yandex is considered Russia’s Google and its technology offerings and capabilities include a 15-minute grocery delivery service that was launched in January. Lavka stocks roughly 2,000 items and operates as a digital market for convenience items.

Its ride-sharing platform is owned jointly with Uber, but in June, Yandex announced it was considering a total buy-out of Uber’s ownership. Uber also owns minority stakes in Didi, Grab and Zomato.

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