Seized Russian Super Yacht Sells For $US67 Million, Bumping Up Host Country’s Entire GDP

Seized Russian Super Yacht Sells For $US67 Million, Bumping Up Host Country’s Entire GDP

The Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda finally unloaded a Russia superyacht seized by feds around the start of the invasion of Ukraine and it just made the tiny country a pretty penny: $US63 million in profit, or about four per cent of its Gross Domestic Product.

Parked in Falmouth Harbour since it was blocked from leaving port in February of 2022, the 80.77 m Alfa Nero was originally estimated to be worth between $US81 and $US115 million dollars (it was purchased by its former owners in 2014 for $US120 million and originally delivered in 2009.) So former Google CEO and American oligarch Eric Schmidt picked up this luxurious vessel for a steal at $US67.6 million.

Of course, Schmidt didn’t become the world’s 82nd richest man by writing checks! Antigua and Barbuda made good on this deal as well as the country was spending $US100,000 a month to keep the yacht maintained while also paying crew salary and dock fees — a grand total cost of $US3.7 million, according to Luxury Launches:

Even after paying off all the bills, the government will pocket a healthy profit from the sale. The windfall profit comes to around $US64 million, which roughly equates to around 4 per cent of Antigua’s GDP which stood at around $US1.47 billion in 2021 according to official data from the World Bank. The 68-year-old ex-CEO of Google will now have seven days to pay the money to the Treasury Department. “We are pleased that we now have an owner, and the owner is now tasked with taking on all of the responsibilities to get the vessel ready and moving and, hopefully, they can do it quick enough,” the Port Manager said.

I’m sure the government is ecstatic to hand this beauty off to someone else to deal with while pocketing quite a bit of cash. Antigua and Barbuda were mainly concerned about an environmental disaster should the yacht sit for too long. Since February 2022, only emergency provisions were allowed on the Alfa Nero to keep the yacht afloat. The boat reportedly belongs to Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev, who made his billions in the fertiliser industry. The trust that owns the boat on paper did make a last-minute attempt to reclaim the Alfa Nero, according to Superyacht Times, but it was all for naught.

The Alfa Nero is an impressive vessel, and it must have hurt to abandon it. From Luxury Launches again:

Described by its makers as “one of the world’s most iconic and highly awarded yachts,” the superyacht includes amenities such as a baby grand piano and a swimming pool that converts into a helipad. The interior was designed by Alberto Pinto and looks absolutely stunning. She can accommodate up to 12 guests in 6 staterooms, along with 28 crew members.

That’s a lot of yacht to walk away from! Add in the investment over years of owning the worlds most iconic yacht from everything from crew costs to decor, and the Alfa Nero represents the lost of a pretty major investment for Guryev, which, good. Officials seized yachts in ports around the world in the form of sanctions following Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. If those at the top are making war and ruining and ending lives, it should hurt them at least a little as well.

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