KUALA LUMPUR, April 3 — The Equanimity, the super yacht once owned by an alleged key mastermind of the 1MDB scandal, has been sold to Genting Malaysia Bhd for US$126 million (RM514 million), the government announced today.
“The Government of Malaysia is pleased to announce that the Superyacht Equanimity is to be sold to Genting Malaysia Bhd or its special purpose vehicle (SPV) company at the price of US$126 million,” Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas said in a statement.
He said the Admiralty Court here approved for acceptance the offer by Genting to purchase the Equanimity on the Sheriff’s Terms and Conditions.
The US$126 million 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 the 1MDB scandal; within a mere eight months from the commencement of this action,” Thomas said.
The announcement comes just hours before the start of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trial this afternoon over the alleged power and fund abuses of RM42 million at a former 1Malaysia Development Berhad subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd.
Investigators said Equanimity was bought by wanted financier Low Taek Jho with money siphoned from 1MDB.
The Penang-born, better known as Jho Low, was seen associating with the Najib family on numerous times previously.
Thomas said the US$126 million is the best offer received over the five months since the super yacht was first put up for sale. Many offers were received in this period, but few were over US$100 million, he added.
Genting offered the highest price, and its bid was today was approved by the Court for acceptance.
The deal is expected to result in a savings of about US$4.4 million (RM17.95 million) since the Genting offer was negotiated directly with the Government of Malaysia, with no agency commission payable.
The 300.20ft custom expedition luxury super yacht Equanimity was built by Oceanco in the Netherlands, and was delivered to her owner in 2013.
Its interior configuration has been designed to comfortably accommodate up to 22 guests overnight in 11 cabins, comprising a master suite, four VIP staterooms, two double cabins and two twin cabins, according to chartering service Yacht Charter Fleet.
Low reportedly bought the yacht for close to RM1 billion, and for months it was said to be his mode of travelling as he evaded capture.
Winterbothams, a valuation firm, estimated the Equanimity to be worth US$130 million, five million dollars more than what Genting had offered.
But Thomas insisted that Genting’s price was “just as good if not more”, calling the sale “historic by any measure” given the extremely small market and a “high water-mark” for the judicial system.
“This judicial sale at US$126 million is historic, by any measure,” the AG said.
“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.”
Putrajaya is expected to issue a statement to explain the breakdown and expenses incurred once the purchase price is received, Thomas said.