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Uber and Yandex agree merger in Russian Federation and central Asia

Uber and Yandex agree merger in Russian Federation and central Asia

In addition to its sizeable stake in the new venture, Uber will also hold three of the seven seats on the new company's board, but the company will be headed up by Tigran Khudaverdyan, who now serves as the chief executive of Yandex Taxi. Employees will own the rest.

Still, while the deal eases competition for both Uber and Yandex short-term, the joint venture could eventually expand to new markets, Khudaverdyan and Abovsky said, putting Yandex and Uber in competition once again.

In a blog post from Yandex.Taxi, CEO Tigran Khudaverdyan also said he would serve as CEO of this new company. In 2016, Uber sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing for a almost 20 percent stake in the newly merged company that was then valued at $35 billion.

Uber's decision to merge its Russian business with Yandex follows the sale of its Chinese operations to Didi Chuxing in 2016.

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The deal comes not long after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who helped found the app-based vehicle service in 2009, resigned amidst investor pressure. Uber EATS, Uber's food deliver service, will also be joining with Yandex under the combined business. Yandex's service, Yandex.Taxi, also operates in Armenia and Georgia. Since founding Yandex.Taxi in 2011, we have connected tens of millions of riders and drivers tobecome the largest and most trusted ridesharing business in Russian Federation and neighboring countries.

This deal, which will need regulatory approvals, will value the combined entity at over $3.4 billion.

The implied valuation for Yandex.Taxi of about $2 billion in the deal with Uber is "substantially" higher than the levels expected by the market, BCS Global Markets said in note to clients Thursday. It's a roaming deal similar to what USA ride-hail rival Lyft attempted with China's Didi and other regional competitors.

The difference between the Didi deal and the Yandex deal, however, is that there are no Uber properties that are continuing to operate in China.

The company says consumers will be able to use both Yandex and Uber apps and drive-side apps will be integrated which should result in shorter passenger wait times, increased utilization rates and greater service reliability. Once that happens, they plan to integrate their driver apps.

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