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Sberbank and Yandex to form JV for electronic-money services

Russia based Sberbank and Netherlands based Yandex have agreed to set up an e-money joint venture (JV) using Yandex.Money platform, in order to exploit the growing demands of electronic-money services in the country.

Based on the agreement, the Russian lender will purchase 75% interest in the charter capital of Yandex.Money for $60m, with Yandex retaining 25% and one ruble interest in the JV.

Yandex.Money current CEO Evgenia Zavalishina will head the JV, while its board of directors will include two Yandex representatives, Zavalishina and Arkady Volozh along with three Sberbank members Alexandr Torbakhov, Denis Bugrov and Viktor Orlovskiy.

The new products will be developed using existing Yandex.Money technologies and will be provided under the same brand name.

Subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, the transaction is likely to complete during the first quarter of 2013.

Sberbank CIB offered financial advisor, White&Case acted as legal counsel, while KPMG provided financial, tax, commercial and IT due diligence to Sberbank.

Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor, while WilmerHale and Laseta Partners served as legal counsel for Yandex, pertaining to the deal.

Yandex.Money is an electronic payment system on the Russian internet, providing easy, safe and reliable methods for paying for purchases online.