Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt sailed off with the superyacht abandoned in the Caribbean by its Russian oligarch owner after the invasion of Ukraine with a winning $67.6 million bid during an auction Friday.
Schmidt bought the 267-foot Alfa Nero yacht after it was left moored in Antigua by Andrey Guryev, the Russian billionaire who was slapped with sanctions by the US Treasury last year, according to Bloomberg News.
The Treasury Department claimed that Guryev, who made his fortune in the fertilizer industry and is thought to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, initially bought the yacht for $120 million in 2014, but the Russian oligarch has denied the claim.
The former Google boss, whose net worth was valued by Bloomberg Billionaires Index at $25 billion as of Friday, “won the auction this morning in a fully transparent process,” according to Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua’s ambassador to the US.
The vessel, which has been described by its manufacturer Oceanco as “one of the world’s most iconic and highly awarded yachts,” includes amenities such as a baby grand piano and a swimming pool that converts into a helipad, Bloomberg News reported.
Antigua and Barbuda was eager to sell the vessel due to mounting maintenance costs totaling some $112,000 per month that accumulated while it sat in Falmouth Harbor.
Schmidt served as Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011, a time of rapid growth for the California-based technology company.
He later became executive chairman for Google, and in 2015, for its new parent company, Alphabet, before resigning as chairman in 2018.
The US and other Western countries sanctioned several Russian oligarchs following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
An Antiguan port official told Bloomberg News that Guryev’s daughter filed a last-minute injunction claiming ownership of the yacht.
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