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Russia's Yandex, Sberbank to form e-commerce JV

Russian search engine Yandex LLC and PAO Sberbank of Russia have inked a nonbinding term sheet to create an e-commerce joint venture on the Yandex.Market platform.

Sberbank will invest 30 billion Russian rubles into Yandex.Market, valuing the latter at 60 billion rubles, the companies said Aug. 9. Yandex and Sberbank will own equal stakes in the joint venture, with up to 10% of the venture's shares to be set aside for an equity incentive program for Yandex.Market's management and employees.

The transaction is still subject to setting of the terms in definitive documents and the completion of Sberbank's due diligence. Once the definitive documents are signed, the deal is expected to close by the end of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals in Russia. There is no assurance, however, that the deal will be ultimately completed.

Yandex.Market CEO Maxim Grishakov said the joint venture would help his company in developing payment solutions as well as introduce new services such as consumer lending.

Grishakov and his management team will continue to lead Yandex.Market. He will also sit on Yandex.Market's board together with three representatives each from both Yandex and Sberbank.

In 2013, Sberbank completed the acquisition of a stake of 75% minus 1 ruble in Yandex's online payment platform Yandex.Money via a joint venture.

As of Aug. 8, US$1 was equivalent to 59.89 Russian rubles.