Belfast Telegraph

Uber and Yandex agree merger in Russia and central Asia

Uber is to merge its Russian and central Asia operations with rival Yandex in a move that signals another retreat for the ride hailing service.

The deal will bring to an end the fierce rivalry between the duo and will see Tigran Khudaverdyan, currently chief executive of Yandex, head up the combined business.

The new company, valued at 3.7 billion US dollars (£2.8 billion), will operate in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Georgia and will be 59% owned by Yandex, 37% by Uber and 4% by staff.

Under the terms of the deal, Uber will invest 225 million US dollars (£174 million) in the new unit and Yandex 100 million US dollars (£77 million).

Together, Uber and Yandex currently book more than 35 million rides a month in the region.

Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, head of Uber in Europe, said: "Not only is this partnership good news for our two companies, it's also great for riders, drivers and cities across the region.

"This deal is a testament to our exceptional growth in the region and helps Uber continue to build a sustainable global business."

Uber inked a similar deal in China last year when it merged its business in the Asian powerhouse with rival Didi Chuxing.

Consumers will be able to use both Yandex and Uber apps while the driver-side apps will be integrated.

The news comes after Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick resigned last month following a series of scandals.

Mr Kalanick, who helped found the company in 2009, quit after shareholder unrest over his leadership.

Uber has been dogged by questions over its working culture, including sexual harassment, allegations of trade secrets theft and an investigation into efforts to mislead government regulators.