Volozh offered Alexei Kudrin 5% of Yandex for assistance in separating assets

Volozh offered Alexei Kudrin 5% of Yandex for assistance in separating assets
Volozh offered Alexei Kudrin 5% of Yandex for assistance in separating assets

The founder of Yandex, Arkady Volozh, offered the head of the Accounts Chamber, Alexei Kudrin, a 5% stake in Yandex in exchange for joining the company and helping to split assets. This was reported to Forbes by a source close to Yandex and confirmed by a source close to Kudrin. The head of the Accounts Chamber will receive a stake in Yandex through options, a source close to Kudrin said.

According to a source close to Yandex, as part of the division of assets, the founder of Yandex, Arkady Volozh, plans to separate the business of unmanned vehicles into a separate legal entity and develop it abroad, the rest of the assets will have to remain in Russia. Kudrin, the source continues, promises him help with this division, for which he was promised shares. Kudrin and Volozh discussed this issue in Tel Aviv, where the head of the Accounts Chamber flew to.

Kudrin was seen in Israel in April, at the Ritz Hotel in Herzliya (a resort near Tel Aviv). He himself said then that he was on a long-planned weekend trip. At the end of May, he wrote on his Telegram channel that he was going to Israel: “I want to stop the rumors before they appear. With all the necessary formalities and having received all the permissions, I will again be in Israel – I’m going to the previously scheduled medical consultations.

As of September 23, Yandex’s capitalization is $6.51 billion. Thus, Aleksey Kudrin could receive about $325 million for the transition to Yandex. A Yandex representative declined to comment. The representative of Alexei Kudrin did not respond to a request.

President Vladimir Putin on September 15 at a personal meeting agreed on the transfer of Alexei Kudrin to Yandex, Meduza wrote earlier (recognized as a foreign agent), citing sources. The President discussed with Kudrin the projects that Yandex plans to develop abroad, in particular Yandex.Cloud and unmanned vehicles, the publication noted. According to the agreement, Kudrin should join the company’s board of directors, Meduza’s sources specified. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Putin’s conversation with Kudrin about his transition to Yandex. “That didn’t happen,” Peskov commented.

Two Forbes sources also say that Kudrin received an offer to join the board of directors. One of them specifies that Kudrin will head Yandex.

Meduza wrote in June 2022 that Yandex shareholders may invite the head of the Accounts Chamber to the company’s management. In June, The Bell reported that Volozh could lose control of the Russian Yandex, but would gain the right to independently develop part of foreign projects independently of the company. It is planned to develop four areas abroad – “UAVs”, “Clouds”, “Toloka” and “Practicum”, since “under the existing restrictions” it is impossible to develop them in Russia.

The difficulty of dividing the company is that Yandex cannot transfer intellectual rights to another legal entity, a Forbes source close to Yandex noted earlier. According to him, more than 95% of the company’s revenue comes from business in Russia.

Kudin was supposed to agree with the Russian authorities on the restructuring of Yandex, he discussed this with Putin at a meeting in June 2022, wrote The Bell. For this, Kudrin should become one of the managers of Yandex and, probably, head the Public Interest Fund or the structure that will replace him, the publication noted.

As a result of the restructuring, the Russian Yandex may come under the control of a new parent company (now the owner is the Dutch company Yandex NV), whose shareholders may be such investors as Roman Abramovich, Vladimir Potanin, and others. Abramovich’s representative denied information about participation in such negotiations.

Arkady Volozh, as well as several other top managers of Yandex, including the former CEO of the company in Russia, Elena Bunina, the head of geoservices, Roman Chernin, the head of drones, Dmitry Polishchuk, and the director of advertising products, Vera Leizerovich, already live in Israel, The Bell noted.

The article is in Russian

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