* Yandex in talks to buy Tinkoff for cash and shares
* Offers 8% premium to Tinkoff GDR price
* Tinkoff's founder has been battling acute leukaemia
(Adds details, quotes, context)
MOSCOW, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Russian bank TCS Group Holding
is in talks to sell its online bank Tinkoff
to Russian internet giant Yandex for $5.48 billion, the
two companies said on Tuesday.
The idea was first publicly floated last year when Oleg
Tinkov, founder of Russia's TCS group, suggested https://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKL8N23E2JS
to Yandex's chief executive that they combine his bank with
Yandex, known as Russia’s answer to Google.
"The parties have come to an agreement in principle on a
transaction that would consist of cash and share consideration
worth approximately $5.48 billion or $27.64 per Tinkoff share
...," Yandex said.
The price of the possible deal represents an 8% premium to
Tinkoff's GDR price as of Sept. 21. One half of the deal is
expected to be paid in cash and another half with Yandex shares,
a banking source told Reuters.
Tinkoff is the world's largest bank that is fully online,
with more than 10 million customers across Russia.
Its founder, Tinkov has been battling acute leukaemia and
had a bone marrow transplant in July. He stepped down as board
chairman of the bank to focus on his health and transferred his
TCS shares to a Tinkov family trust in the spring.
The possible deal was announced a few months after Yandex
said it was terminating its partnership with Sberbank,
which opened the door for the company to compete with the
country's largest bank.
On the Moscow Exchange, TCS Group GDRs rose 6.4% on the day
after the deal announcement, while shares in Yandex were up 4%
on the day, outperforming the broader MOEX index that
ended the day 0.7% higher.
The transaction would be subject to the approval of Yandex's
shareholders, Yandex said.
(Reporting by Tatiana Voronova, Alexander Marrow and Nadezhda
Tsydenova; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh and Polina Devitt; Editing
by David Goodman, David Evans and Tom Brown)