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Yandex to buy top motoring site auto.ru for $175m

0 17 June 2014

It looks like Yandex is to make another big money acquisition, with the company ready to shell out approximately $175 million for auto.ru, a popular motoring site featuring Russia's biggest collection of classified ads for cars.  

Yandex’s vice-president and head of commerce Aleksey Tretyakov commented that

“the acquisition of auto.ru is a great way to expand Yandex’s capacity to provide quality answers that solve our users’ problems.”

Tretyakov explained that the effectiveness of Yandex’s search algorithms will be boosted by auto.ru’s massive database of car ads - which totals more than 400,000 offers from private individuals and car dealers. He also described the portal’s forums, news section and reviews as assets that could benefit Yandex. 

Yandex also confirmed that they do not intend to integrate auto.ru with their own motoring site auto.yandex.ru. Yandex’s in-house service is quite popular - with a monthly audience in April 2014 of 4.3 million, compared to auto.ru’s 5.8 million (data from TNS).

While Yandex’s announcement suggests that the deal has been finalised, it is worth pointing out that staff at auto.ru refused to confirm the details of the deal, telling RBC that they had not heard that an agreement had been reached. Company representatives also announced last week that any information about the sale of the company is ‘pure speculation’. 

Furthermore, this is not the first time that rumours have spread about the sale of auto.ru. As early as 2005 journalists reported that the company was to be sold for $8-10 million, and earlier this month electronic-banking billionaire Oleg Tinkoff claimed on Twitter to have acquired the portal. 

If completed this will be Yandex’s second big-money acquisition in the past 12 months, after it paid $80 million for Kinopoisk last autumn.

Top image via Shutterstock

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