Yandex Valued at $8 Billion in IPO

Yandex NV, the owner of Russia’s most popular Internet search engine, raised $1.3 billion in a U.S. initial public offering, pricing its shares above the sale’s marketed range.

The Moscow-based company sold 52.2 million shares, or a 16.2 percent stake, at $25 each, valuing the company at about $8 billion, Yandex said in an e-mailed statement today. That’s above the original $20 to $22 range.

Yandex, whose IPO valued the stock at about twice that of Google Inc. (GOOG) relative to earnings, met increased demand as companies file for U.S. IPOs at the fastest pace in seven years. The offering also comes less than a week after Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn Corp. raised $405.7 million in its IPO, including an overallotment option.

“Yandex has picked a great time for an IPO for a tech company,” said Anthony Moro, managing director and head of emerging markets at Bank of New York Mellon Corp., which has about $1.1 trillion in assets under management. “For the longer term, they’re in the right spot. They’re the Google of Russia.”

The company, which sold 15.4 million shares while some of its shareholders offered 36.8 million shares, granted its underwriters an overallotment option, Yandex said in the statement.

Google trades at 13 times expected 2012 earnings, while Yandex’s shares were to be sold at a price equivalent to at least 23 times next year’s earnings based on the mid-range of the initial offer range, two people involved in the sale said this week.

At least 230 companies have announced plans for U.S. IPOs so far this year, more than the same period in any other year since 2004, when 232 companies were on file, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Yandex, whose registered address is in The Hague, will list its shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol YNDX. Morgan Stanley (MS), Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) led the offering.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net; Justin Doom in New York at jdoom1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jennifer Sondag at jsondag@bloomberg.net.

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