Editorial Staff
6 months ago

Editorial Staff
6 months ago

Alfa Nero may be sold to the second-highest bidder instead

The Alfa Nero moments after it was siezed by Antigua and Barbuda (Photo by Wayne Mariette)

Information Minister Melford Nicholas has said that the Alfa Nero superyacht may not end up in the possession of Eric Schmidt, the former Google CEO, due to ongoing legal delays.

The government is unable to grant Mr Schmidt a free title for the vessel, which would guarantee that no one else could claim ownership of it.

As a result, it appears that he may lose interest in the purchase, leaving the right to buy the yacht to the second-highest bidder.

During the June 16 auction of the vessel, the second-highest bidder offered a bid of US$66 million, which is higher than the minimum sale price of US$60 million that the government had set after valuing the superyacht at US$115 million.

This bid is only slightly lower than Mr Schmidt’s bid of US$67.6 million. On the other hand, the third-highest bid put forward a bid of only US$25 million, which is significantly below the minimum sale price.

Since April 11, the 267ft vessel has been under the ownership of the government after spending over a year in the country’s waters.

The government has been paying US$28,000 per week to cover expenses such as fuel and crew member salaries.

However, several legal challenges have been made by Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, who claims to be the rightful owner of the yacht.

She is the daughter of the sanctioned Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev and is the sole beneficiary of a trust that owns the Alfa Nero through a 100 percent shareholding in the BVI-based firm, Flying Dutchman Limited.


  1. Mae

    In the first place I don’t know why Gaston and Cutie go trouble the yacht. They keep getting deeper and deeper into serious problems with this Russian vessel. All the government had to do is tell the vessel owners to pay their docking fees and to leave out of waters because they overstayed their welcome.

  2. Anonymous

    Mae, please recall that the boat was sanctioned and could not move from Antigua. Further, when the call went out for the owners to come and remove the boat, they refused to come forward because of the sanctions. Recall also that the crew was about to abandon the vessel, leaving it unmanned, which makes it a hazard. Given the circumstances, there was no other solution. And also recall that we got the sanctions lifted on the premise that the boat would not end up in the same Russians, if it were to the US could sanction both them and us. Clearly, the solution you are recommending is not viable, correct?


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