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MOSCOW and AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Feb. 19, 2016 - Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), one of the largest European internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, today announced that it has entered into an agreement, pursuant to which it will become the sole owner of a newly-created company which will hold title to the office complex in central Moscow that houses the Yandex group's Russian headquarters. The complex is spread across approximately 4 hectares and includes 7 buildings with around 80,000 square-meters of Class A and B office space, 65% of which is currently occupied by the Yandex group. Yandex will continue to lease a portion of the space to third-party tenants in the medium-term, while securing access to additional space for long-term growth as the Yandex group expands.
Yandex has entered into a Framework Agreement with Krasnaya Roza 1875 Limited, a Cypriot company ("KR1875"), pursuant to which Yandex will issue 12,900,000 new Class A ordinary shares to KR1875 in exchange for a 100% interest in a newly-created company that will hold title to the office complex and that will have approximately USD 490 million of debt at closing. KR1875 has agreed to enter into a lock-up agreement in respect of these Yandex shares for a period of 90 days from closing.
"We believe that this transaction is an effective use of capital and a prudent approach to managing our operating expenses in the current environment. It will improve our operating margins and will be immediately accretive to our earnings per share upon closing in the range of high-single digits," comments Greg Abovsky, Chief Financial Officer of Yandex. "In addition, the Company will have a unique opportunity to create a high-tech campus right in the heart of Moscow."
The closing of the transaction remains subject to certain conditions, including required regulatory approvals, and is anticipated to occur in the second half of 2016.
Yandex is being advised by Sberbank CIB, the investment banking division of Sberbank of Russia, acting as financial advisor, by White & Case, Morgan Lewis and Van Doorne, acting as legal advisors, and JLL, acting as real estate advisor in connection with the acquisition.
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. A Fortune 500 company with annual fee revenue of $5.2 billion and gross revenue of $6.0 billion, JLL has more than 230 corporate offices, operates in more than 80 countries and has a global workforce of more than 60,000. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $56.4 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.
In Russia and CIS JLL has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev. JLL, Russia & CIS was voted Consultant of the Year in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 at the Commercial Real Estate Awards, Moscow; Consultant of the Year at the Commercial Real Estate Awards 2009, St. Petersburg; Consultant of the Year at the RCSC Awards in 2015, and The Best Real Estate Consultancy in Ukraine at the Ukrainian Property Awards in 2013.
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