KUALA LUMPUR: The superyacht Equanimity will be sold with a nine-digit price tag (under RM1bil) before March 31, says the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) legal team.
The lawyers said the Sheriff of the Admiralty Court would be seeking the necessary orders from court to commence the second phase of the judicial sale by private treaty for the closing of the sale no later than March 31.
"The nine-digit asking price will be available on application, once approval of court is obtained, and will be commensurate with a four-and-a-half year old Oceanco built luxury yacht, with the specifications of the Equanimity as she lies," the lawyers said in a statement.
The lawyers said the Sheriff has now considered the various aspects of the offers received at the closing of submission of bids on Nov 28.
The lawyers said the Sheriff believed that going ahead with the second stage of the judicial sale process will help secure the optimum value for the Equanimity.
1MDB lawyers and Senior Federal Counsel Alice Loke who acted for the government were present before High Court (Admiralty Court) Judicial Commissioner Khadijah Idris during the proceedings in chambers on Wednesday (Dec 5).
The bidding process for the superyacht began on Oct 29 and ended on Nov 28.
On Oct 19, the High Court declared that the government and 1MDB were the beneficiary owners and that the government was now free to sell the billion-ringgit superyacht.
The judgment came after its registered owner failed to appear 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, which are 1MDB subsidiaries.
On Oct 5, the same court granted an application by the four plaintiffs to appoint a central broker and an international appraiser to handle the sale of the Equanimity, which purportedly belongs to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.
In the application filed on Aug 23, the four plaintiffs named the owner of the ship, Equanimity of Cayman Islands, as the defendant in a suit filed via the law firm of Jeremy Joseph and Partners.
In the notice of application, the four plaintiffs asked for the sale of the ship, bunkers, fuel, lubricants and other consumables on board to be conducted via public tender or private treaty by the Admiralty Court sheriff.
The superyacht was brought to Port Klang on Aug 7 after the Indonesian authorities handed it over to Malaysia.
It had been seized off Bali in February at the request of the US authorities as part of the corruption investigation into 1MDB launched by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).