Business and Finance

Is This Malaysia’s Newest Tourist Attraction?

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In a surprise announcement, Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas confirmed that the Admiralty Court in Kuala Lumpur has approved the sale of Jho Low’s infamous 91.5-m superyacht, Equinamity, to Genting Malaysia Sdn Bhd. The offered purchase price, which was accepted by the Malaysian government, was US$126 million, about half of what is generally noted as the yacht’s initial purchase price of US$250 million. The market valuation, however, was said to be US$130 million, so the offer price was very close indeed, and the Malaysian government, via AG Thomas, said that it was “appreciative” of the purchase offer by Genting.

He added, “The net return to the government is as good, if not more than envisaged. This judicial sale at USD$126 million (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.” Mr Thomas further noted, “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.”

Since the Genting offer was negotiated directly with the Malaysian government, there will be no agency commission due, which should save the government some US$4.4 million.

Equinamity was seized by Indonesian authorities off the coast of Bali in February 2018 at the request of the United States, and ultimately handed over to Malaysia in August. The superyacht is currently berthed at the Royal Malaysian Navy docks in Langkawi.

No word yet on whether Equinamity will be re-christened as the SS Genting, but time will tell what the entertainment and integrated resort giant – which also counts Star Cruises among its subsidiaries – plans to do with the luxury superyacht. It’s yet another interesting twist (and no doubt a huge sigh of relief for Malaysia, which was reportedly spending as much as RM3 million per month for the maintenance and upkeep of Equinamity) in the epic and continuing 1MDB saga.

Images are courtesy of Burgess Yachts.

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