Fugitive Malaysian businessman Jho Low’s superyacht, The Equanimity, was sold to Genting Malaysia for US$126 million on Wednesday (April 3).
The ultra-luxurious ship has marble and gold leaf fittings, a 20-metre swimming pool with jets, and a helipad.
Indonesian authorities first seized the ship in March 2018, and handed it to Malaysia in August 2018 as part of 1MDB investigations.
Supermodel Miranda Kerr, who Low briefly dated, has been on the yacht.
Jho Low’s ultra-luxurious superyacht, The Equanimity, has finally been sold.
The buyer? Casino and theme park operator Genting Malaysia Berhad, which bought the ship on Wednesday (April 3) for US$126 million (S$170 million, RM514 million), Bernama reported.
This is about half its buying price of US$250 million, and less than the Malaysian Government’s minimum asking price of US$130 million.
A website on luxury charters said the 91-metre ship can sleep 22 guests and 31 crew, and has an interior clad in marble and gold leaf. It boasts a cinema, a gym, a spa, a 20-metre swimming pool with jets, a lift, and a helipad.
Business Insider compiled a timeline of the now-notorious yacht, from its days as Low’s party boat to its just-inked sale:
The Equanimity first came into the spotlight after investigations began following Low’s involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) corruption scandal.
The US Department of Justice said the infamous businessman owned over US$1.7 billion in assets, allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds, including the US$250 million luxury yacht, Reuters reported.
The yacht was located and seized in Bali, and its 34-man crew inspected by Indonesian and US authorities working together on the investigation, Reuters reported.
Low responded by criticising the US for taking the vessel based on “unsupported claims” of his wrongdoing, The Star quoted his representative as saying.
Subsequently, an Indonesian court ruled the seizure as illegal, and the yacht was released, but not allowed to leave Tanjung Benoa port.
Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad visited Indonesia and made a personal request for the yacht to be handed over to Malaysia, Reuters reported.
Indonesian police impounded the yacht again.
The report also quoted Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas as saying that the vessel had been brought to Malaysia after legal treaties between the US, Indonesia, and Malaysia were activated.
Malaysia announced plans to take an inventory of the ship’s items, allow the public to view the vessel, then sell it at the highest price, Reuters said in a separate report.
Low criticised the Malaysian government, calling the move “a publicity stunt” that would result in bids for the vessel falling below its fair market value, Reuters quoted Low’s spokesman as saying.
The Equanimity went up for auction. Reuters quoted 1MDB lawyer Jeremy Joseph as saying that the ship’s estimated value would only be disclosed after bids closed on Nov 28.
He added that if the highest bid matched or exceeded the estimated value, the court would accept the sale.
The Star reported that bids for the yacht were “not of acceptable degree”, and the minimum price was set at US$130 million (RM543 million) – about half of its purchase price.
Yacht specialist Burgess, the broker for the sale, said it would typically take up to two years to sell a yacht of this value.
The Government received several offers over US$100 million for the ship, and it was sold to the highest bidder, Genting Malaysia, Bernama quoted the Attorney General as saying.
He added that since the company had negotiated directly with the Government for the vessel instead of through an agency, it would save about US$4.4 million in commission fees.