Superyacht Equanimity linked to 1MDB investigation still has no firm buyers

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Superyacht Equanimity linked to 1MDB sold for US$126m
Superyacht Equanimity linked to 1MDB sold for US$126m

The superyacht Equanimity still has no firm buyers even though it’s selling at half of its purchase price. The vessel is linked to the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) financial scandal investigation in which Low Taek Jho was previously identified as the main character.

The Equanimity was reported by Indonesian authorities to have been seized in February 2018. The length of the yacht is 91.50 m  and the beam is 14.50m. The draught of Equanimity is 4 m.

The steel hull is strengthened to Ice Class E, with the superstructure made out of aluminium with teak laid decks. It has a gym, pool, gallery, beauty salon and helipad. And it has space for sleeping 22 guest.

Finding a buyer for the Equanimity vessel is not an easy task. The superyacht is the most notable to stand out among all others that is being sold by Malaysian authorities in an efforts to recoup money which has been lost through the 1MDB scandal.

The Equanimity’s former owner is Low Taek Jho. He has been accused by authorities of siphoning 1MDB funds for personal use.

Low Taek Jho was charged in a US federal court late last year with theft and money laundering. At the same time he was also charged in absentia in Malaysia last year with money laundering and financial fraud.

The Equanimity is thought to have cost US$250 million. With a guide price of US$130 million, yacht specialist Burgess, the sole broker for the sale, said there were few boats equal in size currently on the market.

Yet an initial effort to sell the Equanimity superyacht in a November 2018 auction, after the Malaysian Admiralty Court ruled that the Malaysian government and 1MDB were the rightful owners of the vessel, failed to secure a buyer.

Sealed bids were submitted to the Sheriff of the High Court of Malaya. Only after the bids were submitted was the appraisal value of US$130 million revealed. The sale of the vessel won’t be coming any time soon

Currently the Malaysian government is spending around US$500,000 a month to maintain the Equanimity.

“Some bidders were opportunistic in their pricing,” said Sitpah Selvaratnam, a consultant with law firm Tommy Thomas and adviser on the transaction.

“As it stands now the mandate is we are not really negotiating for anything below US$100 million. It’s clearly not a fire sale. You’re going to get what she’s worth.”

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