You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
The government is considering auctioning off the Alfa Nero- a 267ft superyacht causing them trouble.
The yacht has been docked at Falmouth Harbour for over two years and despite legal challenges, the government is determined to sell it.
Although the vessel was auctioned on June 6th, 2023, the court has yet to resolve the issue of its ownership.
Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Lionel Max Hurst said at the weekly Cabinet Press Conference on Thursday, “We are going to sell it; we are hopeful that if this matter goes before the Privy Council yet a third time, the same result will follow, and as a consequence, we will be free and clear to sell the vessel,”
“We think that we’ll have to reopen the bidding because the second highest bidder had offered $65 million, and then, of course, he’s now attempting to lower that bid significantly in an effort to get it at a bargain”
He said the largest bidder indicated his lack of interest “because it was taking such a long time and the other purchaser has since reduced his bid significantly, so I think now the object is to get a bidder who will make a more substantial offer,”.
The Alfa Nero, a superyacht, has been anchored in Falmouth Harbour for nearly two years.
The government has raised concerns about the vessel posing both environmental and security risks.
The yacht gained attention when Andrey Guryev, a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared on international sanctions lists following the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.
In June of last year, an auction was held to sell the yacht, where two preferred bidders, Eric Schmidt and Warren Halle, expressed their interest.
However, both bidders have now cooled their interest in the yacht. Schmidt withdrew his bid of US$67 million, citing legal delays that prevented him from acquiring the right to the vessel.
On the other hand, Halle sued the government for an alleged failure to adhere to its auction rules.
According to these rules, Halle was supposed to be named the preferred bidder after Schmidt failed to pay the money to the government within the agreed seven days, among other issues.