The Russian tech giant Yandex has tentatively agreed to buy 100 percent of Tinkoff Bank for $5.4 billion, the bank’s parent company, TCS Group, announced on September 22 on the London Stock Exchange. Immediately following the deal’s news, shares in Yandex on Nasdaq spiked 4.3 percent from $59.20 to $61.70.
According to the financial news outlet The Bell, Yandex’s acquisition of Tinkoff Bank is a “strategically important decision” that will allow it to dominate Russia’s emerging “FinTech” market. Yandex acquired the independent right to develop financial-technology projects earlier this summer, after parting ways with Sberbank.
Since earlier this year, Tinkoff Bank founder Oleg Tinkov has battled tax-evasion charges in the U.S., as well as leukemia. He’s currently free on bail in Britain, awaiting an extradition court’s ruling. If sent to the United States and convicted of the charges against him, he faces up to six years in prison. Tinkov reportedly transferred his 40.2-percent stake in TCS Group to a family trust after learning about his cancer diagnosis. The sale of Tinkoff Bank to Yandex is expected to double Tinkov’s fortune, estimated in March 2020 by Forbes Magazine to be $1.6 billion.