There’s a new loner in the wild west of Russian search engine land, where millions of dollars are spent and Google is just small potatoes. Alisher Usmanov is his name. This man is the founder of Metalloinvest (mining company, €3.3 billion a year) and owner of publishing house Kommersant. As a true media visionary, he has decided to invest in the Russian Internet industry. And when a business man like him enters a market, you know he’s gonna do it with a bang.
What about an acquisition of a 10%-20% stake in Russia leading and Europe’s no. 3 search engine Yandex ($167 million in 2007)? Usmanov wants to buy them from the founding fathers of Yandex as well as via the shares at the upcoming IPO on NASDAQ. To give you an idea about the importance of these negotiations, the IPO was valued up to $5 billion. That means the stake could be worth a staggering $1 billion.
The Quintura blog offers some more background info on Alisher Usmanov’s Internet adventure. Usmanov might be encouraged by the Russian government to get a grip on this booming Internet industry, like he was when he bought the newspaper Kommersant.