Abandoned Russian Superyacht Sells For $98 Million, Causing Host Nation’s GDP To Soar

The long-overdue comeuppance of a thoroughbred fat cat.

Abandoned Russian Superyacht Sells For $98 Million, Causing Host Nation’s GDP To Soar

Image: Superyacht Times

Superyacht news has been rife this week, with new videos revealing how luxury yachts stow their toys and Dan Bilzerian kicking off his summer in style. Now, the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has successfully sold an extravagant Russian superyacht — seized by authorities during the onset of the Ukraine invasion — with an outcome that has proved highly lucrative for the small island nation.

After Jeff Bezos’ $700m superyacht was spotted under sail for the first time and, shortly afterwards, revealed to have a $100m ‘support yacht’ that carried around all of the Amazon founder’s favourite boys’ toys, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the world must be saturated with outrageously expensive yacht stories. Enter Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev, whose long-abandoned superyacht that was seized by authorities several months ago has finally gone to sale…

Parked in Falmouth Harbour since being barred from departing in February 2022, thanks to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 80-meter-long Alfa Nero was initially valued somewhere between $81 and $115 million. Formerly purchased for $120 million in 2014, the vessel was snapped up by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt for a bargain price of $67.6 million.

Making a healthy profit for its Caribbean hosts, the sale has seen their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) soar thanks to the unexpected windfall – one they undoubtedly deserve.

WATCH: The abandoned yacht is so luxurious that it makes Dan Bilzerian’s $35m vessel look paltry…

Antigua and Barbuda was spending a wholly unwelcome $170,000 per month on upkeep for the yacht, adding up to a substantial $3.7 million. After settling all outstanding expenses, the government is set to enjoy a considerable profit from the sale, amounting to roughly $64 million, equivalent to a whopping four per cent of Antigua’s GDP, which stood at $1.47 billion in 2021.

Schmidt, the 68-year-old former Google CEO, must transfer the funds to the island nation’s Treasury Department within a week. Let’s just hope his check doesn’t bounce.

Although the profits were undoubtedly welcome, the primary concern of the nation was actually the potential environmental hazards posed by an extended stay of the vessel, which posed a huge risks to its surroundings should an extreme weather event occur.

Andrey Guryev (left), the long-suspected owner of the yacht, with close pal Putin. Image: Insider

The superyacht — which reportedly belonged to Russian oligarch Andrey Guryev, who amassed his wealth in Russia’s booming post-Soviet fertiliser industry — attempted a last-minute claim on the vessel, which evidently proved futile.

The Alfa Nero is an impressive vessel that its former owner will likely be pretty miffed to have lost, described by its creators as “one of the world’s most iconic and highly awarded yachts”. Replete with all the high-end features you’d expect for such a hefty price tag — including a swimming pool that can be transformed into a helipad — the interior was designed by the renowned Alberto Pinto and can accommodate up to twelve guests in six staterooms alongside a crew of twenty-eight.

Sympathy for Guryev, however, should be extremely limited. Not only was he one the lucky few to profit enormously from the collapse of the Soviet Union whilst so many were plunged into poverty — amassing a net worth of almost $10 billion USD, meaning his bank account should be able to weather this relatively minor inconvenience just fine — but his involvement in the invasion of Ukraine, however indirect, make this loss of a pretty obscene luxury pale in comparison to the wider devastation caused by the conflict.

Yes, the pool really does turn into a helipad. Image: Excellence Riviera

When so many superyacht stories feel like little more than a flex on behalf of some of the world’s wealthiest, this sale feels like a welcome change of pace, with an entire nation set to benefit from the long-overdue comeuppance of a thoroughbred fat cat.

My only words of warning to the Caribbean nation would be these: don’t spend it all at once.