Superyachts confiscated from Russian oligarchs have been stuck in several countries for months. The states concerned cannot simply sell the luxury boats. But now, for the first time, a yacht belonging to a sanctioned billionaire is going under the hammer.
For the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the many superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs that have been detained or confiscated in the West will be auctioned off. Tomorrow, Tuesday, entrepreneur and billionaire Dimitri Pumpianski's "Axioma" will be sold to the highest bidder on the instructions of the judiciary in Gibraltar. The originally $75 million ship could go away at a bargain price.
The "Axioma" is a special case among these established super yachts. Because it was not confiscated at the instigation of a government, but of a bank. US banking giant JP Morgan last year lent 20.5 million euros to a company registered in the British Virgin Islands as the owner of "Axioma". Among the owners of this company was a Cypriot company, which in turn was owned by Pumpianski.
JP Morgan considered Pumpianski's listing on the UK sanctions list against Russia a breach of the loan agreement and demanded her money back. With the billionaire unable to pay due to the sanctions, the bank in Gibraltar applied for the Maltese-flagged yacht to be confiscated and sold. JP Morgan is demanding that the proceeds from the sale be used to repay the loan.
The interest of potential buyers in the 72 meter long, luxuriously equipped ship is "surprisingly" great, the British newspaper "Guardian" quotes the broker commissioned by Gibraltar with the sale, Nigel Hollyer. More than 30 people "from all over the world" flew to the small British territory at the south-western tip of Europe to see the "Axioma". Media reports speculate that the ship could change hands for a fraction of its new price due to its history and the foreclosure. Broker Hollyer does not comment specifically on the possible sale price. However, he confirms that the interested parties "are convinced that they will get a bargain".