The Moscow Times reports that the leading Russian search engine, Yandex, plans for float shares in an IPO on New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange this fall. They have accredited this to a “banking source with knowledge of the matter”. Yandex is currently the most popular search engine in Russia with approximately 55% market coverage. In comparison, Google currently holds 17-20% of the market.
Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Capital have been hired to organise an offering, according to the Russian newspaper Vedomosti.
“The size of the offering has not yet been defined”, the source continued.”The company has no emergency need of money, and the bulk of the proceeds will go to the shareholders who decide to sell their shares”
The search engine could raise as much as $3 billion in the IPO, making it the country’s biggest high-tech flotation, according to Kommersant, another Russian national paper.
We have been here before though, with IPO rumours circulating in March 2006. As before, there has been no official comment from Yandex confirming or denying this move. Although it is widely accepted that Yandex will make an IPO, anyone following this story knows there is no rush on their part. It will be interesting to watch their movements running up to this autumn but continued slow down in the global markets may well change their plans.