Yandex Puts Off IPO Plans

    September 2, 2008

Solid reports have indicated for several months that Yandex, the popular Russian search engine, would file for an IPO sometime this year.  Now it seems that international problems have made it delay things until 2009 instead.

Blame the global economy for starters.  Unsteady markets and rising inflation have caused investors to become nervous, making them less likely to sink money into anything without a long and solid track record.  Yandex, which was founded in 1997 and became profitable in 2002, might not be embraced.

Then there are the more specific concerns about Russia’s relationship with the rest of the world.  After the country more or less ignored all of its neighbors and partners during the war with Georgia, it’s being viewed with an extra dose of suspicion.  Sanctions or a new Cold War could complicate the transfer of money.

Anyway, Svetlana Gladkova reports that word of the IPO’s postponement comes from "one of the leading Russian investment fund[s] known for its multiple investments in IT companies."  And not much else has changed, since, as was originally rumored, "[v]aluation of Yandex as a result of the NASDAQ IPO is supposed to reach the level between $3 billion and $5 billion."

We’ll be sure to report if new numbers – or a range of dates within 2009 – are released.