KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The superyacht Equanimity, which is linked to the 1MDB scandal, will be put on sale for a minimum price of US$130 million (S$178 million), said a lawyer who represents the Malaysian government.
The government will conduct private negotiations to sell the vessel, that was reported to have been built for US$250 million, after a recent auction closed without "acceptable" bids, said lawyer S. Sitpah.
She said the floor price was set after the 92m vessel, allegedly owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho previously, was valued by United Kingdom-based independent appraisers Winterbothams.
"Now there is a guide price for potential buyers," Ms Sitpah added.
The vessel can accommodate up to 22 guests and 31 crew. It has a swimming pool, a beauty salon, a massage room and sauna, medical facilities and a helicopter pad.
Ms Sitpah said the government has received a court order to permit the second phase of the judicial sale.
"The first phase received bids, but the bids were not of acceptable degree. Therefore, we have to move on to the second phase," she said.
The completion date of the sale is March 31, 2019.
She said this after case management at Malaysia's Admiralty Court before Judicial Commissioner Khadijah Idris on Thursday (Dec 13).
On Oct 19, the High Court declared that the Equanimity belonged to two 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiaries - and thus the Malaysian government - after its registered owner failed to show up in court to claim the vessel.
Besides 1MDB and the government, the other two plaintiffs are 1MDB Energy Holdings Limited and 1MDB Global Investment Limited, both 1MDB subsidiaries.
On Oct 5, the court granted an application by the four plaintiffs to appoint a central broker and an international appraiser to handle the sale of the vessel.
The plaintiffs have said proceeds of the sale of the vessel should be paid to the court and placed in a bank account in Malaysia, as approved by the Accountant-General.