Yandex Expands in Classifieds With $175 Million Auto.ru Deal

Yandex NV, Russia’s largest web search engine, agreed to buy car information and advertising site Auto.ru for about $175 million to expand into the classifieds business.

Yandex will complete the acquisition of Auto.ru in the third quarter, the Amsterdam-based company said today. Auto.ru features 400,000 classifieds for new and used cars and also auto parts, according to a regulatory statement.

Yandex has twice the market share of Google Inc. in Russia and is expanding beyond Internet searches. The company bought the Multiship online-delivery aggregator in January after spending $80 million in October to acquire KinoPoisk, a Russian version of the IMDb movie database.

The company’s shares fell as much as 2.2 percent in U.S. trading today and were 0.8 percent down at $33.47 a share at 9:44 a.m. New York time. While the deal size is significant, it won’t make a great contribution to Yandex’s financials in the short term, Renaissance Capital said today in a note.

“Auto.ru is the leading vehicle classifieds website in Moscow and is in the top 3 across Russia,” Yandex said. Avito.ru, backed by Naspers Ltd, claims to be Russia’s largest online classifieds site.

VTB Capital was Yandex’s financial adviser for the purchase, according to the statement.

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