Yandex buys Uber from self-driving food delivery company

(Bloomberg) — Yandex NV to buy shares of Uber Technologies Inc. in its food technology, delivery and self-driving businesses in a $1 billion all-cash deal.

The Russian internet giant will own 100% of Yandex.Eats, Yandex.Lavka and Yandex.Delivery, as well as a self-driving business that operates cars and drones, according to a statement Tuesday.

Both boards have approved the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year.

Yandex had been looking to buy out Uber for more than a year as the coronavirus pandemic sparked rapid growth in the Russian market for delivery and food services. The sector has attracted major investment from competitors, including online retailer Ozon Holding Plc and Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank PJSC.

As part of the deal, Yandex will also increase its stake in a ride-hailing and carsharing joint venture it operates with Uber to 71%, up from 66.5%. The Russian company will also be given a two-year call option to acquire Uber’s remaining stake in that company for a whopping $2 billion.

“As a result of the deal, Yandex expects to accelerate the pace of business development in the fast-growing e-commerce and food-tech market through closer integration of services and simplification of management processes,” the statement said.

Uber has merged its operations in Russia and neighboring countries with local leader Yandex in a deal closed in February 2018 that valued the unit at $3.8 billion. Since the deal, the company has expanded into other businesses, such as food delivery and autonomous vehicles.

(Deal details updates everywhere)

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