In a bid to prevent any single investor from accumulating more than a 25% share in Yandex NV (the Dutch holding company), the company has agreed to sell a priority or “golden” share to Russian state-owned Sberbank. The single share, to be purchased for €1 gives Sberbank veto power over anyone attempting to purchase a larger than acceptable stake. The decision is an attempt to allow Yandex to continue its strategy of governance without a single majority shareholder.
The golden share will not give Sberbank any controlling authority in the daily operations of Yandex.
Yandex is a Russian internet and technology firm most noted for operating the country’s largest search engine portal. The company fills a need for Russian speaking internet users by providing information retrieval, news, user-generated material, and standard portal services like web-mail, stock reports, and live weather.
The company’s 1,500 employees generated revenues of more than USD 300 million in 2008, earning a net income in excess of USD 100 million.
Sberbank was founded in 1841 and has since grown to be the largest financial and banking institution in Russia. The bank operates 17 regional offices and nearly 15,000 branches in Russia alone, along with subsidiaries in Kazakhstan and Ukraine. Sberbank provides commercial banking services including deposits, lending, and international investments and funding. More than 265,000 employees keep the company operational on a daily basis.