Billionaire and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt won an auction Friday for the 267-foot Alfa Nero, paying $67.6 million for the superyacht that had been “abandoned” in Antigua Bay by a sanctioned Russian oligarch.
The Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority revealed the sale in a statement reported by outlets including Boat International.
Antigua’s ambassador to the US, Sir Ronald Sanders, said the buyer was Schmidt, Bloomberg reported.
The yacht was linked to Andrey Guryev, who made his money in the fertilizer business and was sanctioned last year by the US Treasury Department following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Guryev is believed to have close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Guryev’s daughter had tried to intervene to stop the auction, according to Bloomberg, by claiming she owned the yacht.
Her action came despite a legal representative for Guryev telling Bloomberg in March that he did not own the yacht.
“Mr Guryev neither owns nor controls the Alfa Nero and has simply used the vessel from time to time under commercial charter since 2014,” his representative told the outlet.
RT reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin, during his speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, discussed plans to seize ‘naughty’ Western companies.