Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, has withdrawn his winning bid of $67.6 million for the superyacht Alfa Nero, abandoned in Antigua for over a year due to a legal dispute.
The sale of the luxury vessel became mired in lawsuits after the daughter of Russian billionaire Andrey Guryev challenged the deal in court. Schmidt withdrew his bid a few days ago, as the legal wrangling made it impossible for him to obtain a clear ship title.
However, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US, Ronald Sanders, said that the ship belongs to the government and the legal challenges should not have affected the sale.
Warren E. Halle, a developer from Maryland, was the runner-up in the auction for the Alfa Nero.
The 267-foot Alfa Nero, which includes a baby grand piano and a swimming pool that doubles as a helipad, was abandoned in Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour in March 2022 after the US Treasury sanctioned Guryev.
Though he denied owning the superyacht, his daughter, Yulia Gurieva-Motlokhov, claimed it later.
After the US lifted sanctions on the vessel, Antigua’s government auctioned it off despite Gurieva-Motlokhov’s attempts to block the sale. Since then, her lawyers have appealed to courts in Antigua to void the transaction.
Schmidt, who has an estimated net worth of $27 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, served as Google’s chief executive for about a decade.
His investments in AI startups have been funded in part by the $4 billion he collected from the sale of Alphabet stock over the years.
Schmidt’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.