Yandex May Float Shares on Nasdaq

The country's biggest Internet firm, Yandex, plans to float shares in an IPO on New York's Nasdaq stock exchange this fall, a banking source with knowledge of the matter said.

Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Renaissance Capital have been hired to organize an offering, the source said, Vedomosti reported Friday.

"The size of the offering has not yet been defined," the newspaper quoted the source as saying. "The company has no emergency need of money, and the bulk of the proceeds will go to the shareholders who decide to sell their shares."

Spokespeople for Yandex were not immediately available for comment Friday.

The Internet search engine could raise as much as $3 billion in the IPO, making it the country's biggest high-tech flotation, Kommersant said Friday.

Yandex was founded in 2000 by businessmen Arkady Volozh and Ilya Segalovich. Funds RuNet Holdings and Baring Vostok Capital Partners own a total of about 35 percent of Yandex, while 15 percent is held by Tiger Technologies, Kommersant said Friday.

The company's founders own about 30 percent, and minority shareholders, including company managers, have 20 percent, Kommersant said.

Konstantin Belov, an analyst at UralSib, said Yandex was one of the few high-tech companies "that is really making money," making it attractive to investors. Reuters, Bloomberg, MT