Genting buys Equanimity for US$126mil

PETALING JAYA: The superyacht Equanimity has been sold to Genting Malaysia Bhd for US$126mil (RM514.14mil), says the Attorney-General's Chambers.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas said the Admiralty Court in Kuala Lumpur has approved Genting's offer to purchase the Equanimity on the Sheriff's Terms and Condition.

"The US$126mil purchase price will be paid by Genting and received by Court by the end of April 2019.

"This will rank as the highest recovery to date for the government of Malaysia from its 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, within a mere eight months from the commencement of this action," he said in a statement on Wednesday (April 3).

Thomas said it received a few other offers above US$100mil (RM408.05mil) but the US$126mil (RM514.14mil) purchase price from Genting was the best offer it had received over five months since the Equanimity was put up for sale.

He added that as the Genting offer was negotiated directly with the government, no agency commission was payable and this resulted in a savings of US$4.4mil (RM17.95mil).

"Although the Winterbothams' market price evaluation of the Equanimity at US$130mil (RM530.46mil) was not reached, the net returns to the government is as good, if not more than envisaged.

"This judicial sale at US$126mil (RM514.14mil), is historic, by any measure.

"It records a high-water mark for our judicial system in ensuring that market value is secured for a vessel sold through the processes of Court, without any discount.

"It is even more commendable that this is achieved in a very sophisticated high-end superyacht sale where the pool of buyers is very small," he said.

Thomas added that a further statement would be issued once the purchase price was received, with a breakdown of the expenses incurred and the net amount to be credited into the newly opened 1MDB asset recovery account.

Thomas added that the government was appreciative of the offer by Genting.

The Equanimity was once owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low.

Bidding for the superyacht which saw interest from the rich and famous in the yachting community closed in Nov last year.

The Equanimity is one of many luxury items seized by the government as part of its probe into money laundering in the 1MDB scandal.  The 91.5m-long Equanimity, is known to have a Turkish bath, swimming pool and a helicopter landing pad.

The superyacht is docked at the Royal Malaysian Navy's Region 3 headquarters in Langkawi.

The Equanimity was seized off the coast of Bali by Indonesia in February at the request of US authorities as part of a probe into the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal.

The Indonesian government then handed over the vessel to Malaysia authority in August last year.

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