Editorial Staff
1 month ago

Editorial Staff
1 month ago

Second Auction for Alfa Nero Unlikely; Govt Still Hopes to Strike Deal with Second Highest Bidder

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The possibility of a second auction for the Alfa Nero superyacht, which was initially under consideration, has now diminished.

The yacht’s owners seem less inclined to put it up for auction again, possibly due to a lack of suitable offers or a change of mind.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas clarified statements made by Lionel Hurst, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, during a recent post-Cabinet press briefing, who said the yacht could be auctioned a second time.

But he told journalists at the Cabinets weekly press briefing that the government is still hopeful that a deal can be reached with the second-highest bidder from last year’s auction, US real estate mogul Warren Halle, following prolonged legal proceedings related to the vessel.

He said he was unaware of any upcoming auction and that the government would consider the secondary buyer on the first option if an option becomes available.

However, whether the secondary buyer would still be interested in executing an agreement is uncertain.

In a recent statement, Hurst mentioned that the government was considering a second auction as they were unsure if a deal was possible.

Eric Schmidt, a US tech billionaire who was the first bidder, withdrew his US$67 million bid due to legal delays that prevented him from acquiring the right to the vessel.

Halle sued the government over alleged failure to comply with its own auction rules, which would have made Halle the preferred bidder after Schmidt failed to pay the money to the government within the agreed seven days, among other issues.

The Alfa Nero has been in Falmouth Harbour for almost two years, and the government claims it poses both an environmental and a security risk.

The boat came to attention when its alleged owner, Andrey Guryev, a known close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared on international sanctions lists after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

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