United States resident Erick Schmidt has been announced as the new owner of the Alfa Nero, bidding the highest at $67.6 M.
The bidding process, which was televised to the nation and the entire world by extension.
General Manager of the Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority Darwin Telemaque said the new owner, an American citizen, is now tasked with taking on
The second highest came in at $66M while the third was significantly lower at about $25M
“We executed what we had to do and we are pleased we now have a new owner who is now tasked with taking on all of the responsibilities to get the vessel moving and hopefully that can be done quickly enough. We are in the hurricane season and it is important that the vessel is removed from where it is at and on its way”, Telemaque said moments after the auction
The Alfa Nero is currently moored at the Falmouth Habour and is according to the government posing a major environmental threat to the marina
“In the process, we had different bids here and there. We are grateful for where we ended up. It is above the for-sale price which is something which we really hoped would have happened and we are grateful”, Telemaque added
The new owner has seven days to provide the funds to the government. Failure to do so, in the boat will be sold to the second highest bidder.
How did we get here?
After remaining unclaimed for over a year, the vessel was seized by the government to be sold immediately thereafter.
But the intended sale of the former Russian Superyacht hit a snag recently when the government was informed that unless the US sanction is lifted, the vessel cannot be sold because it was sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The government then made an application to have the Alfa Nero delisted, so the prospective new owner can benefit from free, legal movement, but no success has yet been achieved in those efforts. After weeks of negotiations, the US lifted the sanctions, paving the way for the auctioning of the Alfa Nero
Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US Sir Ron Sanders had been in talks with the US Treasury Department for several weeks to have the vessel delisted.
It is costing the government a whopping US28K to maintain the vessel weekly.
That price does not include the cost of fuel that is currently keeping the boat moored at the Falmouth Habour .
At least by early next week, the government will give a total of the expenses racked up by the Alfa Nero Superyacht.
The balance of that money will be placed in consolidated fund to be used by the government of Antigua and Barbuda.