Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt Scraps $67.6 Million Purchase of Abandoned Superyacht


BLOOMBERG: Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt is changing course on his purchase of a superyacht abandoned by a Russian heiress after she launched a legal battle over the vessel.

Schmidt, who won the 267-foot superyacht for $67.6 million at a public auction in June, withdrew his offer several days ago, Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the U.S. told Bloomberg.

“Schmidt, because of the legal wrangling, determined that we could not give him clear title of the ship,” Sanders said in a Friday interview. “That’s not accurate, because the ship belongs to us, it is owned by the government.”

The Alfa Nero, as the luxury yacht is called, was abandoned in Antigua’s Falmouth Harbor in March 2022 — one of the many glittering vessels and properties cast aside by sanctioned Russian elites following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Lawyers for Yulia Gurieva-Motlokhov, daughter of Russian fertilizer magnate Andrey Guryev, claimed in a July legal appeal that she was the rightful owner of the Alfa Nero. The luxury boat houses a baby grand piano and a swimming pool that converts into a helipad, according to Bloomberg.

The U.S. Treasury Department previously blocked the yacht sale due to Guryev’s ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but removed it from the sanctions list earlier this year. Guryev formerly headed PhosAgro, one of the world’s largest phosphate-based fertilizer producers.

Eric Schmidt headed Google between 2001 and 2011, and left the board of Google’s parent, Alphabet, in 2019. He currently has a net worth of about $20 billion, according to Forbes.

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  1. Meanwhile the costs continue to build. Representing significant liabty and legal resolution. Sir Ronald makes Antigua’s position clear.
    Hurricane Lee would have.made this unsettled mess even more interesting. Can Antigua and Barbuda’s treasury and Security withstand the consequences? Antigua’s Yachtins reputation? Messing with A Russian,? Russians likely World leaders in Cyber warfare.Just saying.

  2. Antigua going to find themselves in more debt trying to upkeep that vessel instead of giving it back to the Russians and let them deal with America. You think America care about the financial strain this thing will bring on Antigua smh lol give it to America and let them deal with it.

  3. Here’s Ronald Sanders RIDICULOUS response to Schmitd’s $67.6 million withdrawal due to legal issues with a relative of the original owner:

    “… That’s not accurate, because the ship belongs to us, it is owned by the government”.

    This problem is of the ABLP’S own making, and theyvwere warned that what they were undertaking was always going to resort to some sort of legal action.

    Sanders, Gaston Browne and their ilk think they knew better than the rest of us, however their actions – since being re-elected – has shown that we are in for a rather bumpy and rocky ride over the next 4- 5 years.


  4. Might be the time to negotiate a settlement with Mr Halle in order to avert any lawsuit and bring closure to this sordid affair. I am sure that the government might have to settle for an amount far less than originally auctioned. These happenings are putting the government in an embarrassing position and I know that they would want closure on this quickly. I am sure that the government might settle for a vastly reduced amount with Mr. HALLE in order to bring closure but no doubt the legal wranglings will continue.

    • I will say that Gaston should give the woman her yacht and let her remove it from Antiguan waters. The yacht was never abandoned. American sanctions tied up the yacht in Antigua. This fiasco will cost the Antiguan people millions, all because of a greedy corrupt government that think they can thief other People’s property. Just like they do with the assets of Antigua and Barbuda.

      • Can I ask you a question? If Antigua simply gives the russian daughter the boat, how is she going to move it from Antigua?

        She CANNOT MOVE IT and thus would not take care of it either. The minute ownership is given to her the USA and Europe would put back the sanctions on the boat, and thus it cannot leave Antigua waters.

        Unless you have another plan as to how she would be able to move it you can let me know.

        • @N
          Give the lady her yacht and let her pay the incurred costs and see what happens. You are just speculating. The lady is not sanctioned.

          • The boat was sanctioned, so she cannot get any boat. It is now the property of Antigua. These people just don’t want us to make any money from the boat. I bet if a major hurricane passed and sink the boat that you will never hear from her again.

  5. Harden headed GB will sink this country just not to say I am wrong. This yacht is costing and continues to cost Antiguans a fortune. Government owes civil servants back pay, overtime, allowances, contractors and suppliers and i can go on and on. If one person get paid every month instead of this burden plenty people would be happy. Time to let go and cut your losses. Maybe the lady might return during negotiations and pay back all expenses. Too many lies were told to us the public for reasons to acquire the vessel. To all it was that the economy is in shambles and the government thought they were going to get easy money.

    • @Frankly Speaking…there is a 9.3% GDP forecast for Antigua’s enconomy this year. So, how can the treasury be empty? Maybe those lazy people who don’t want to work just want easy money like selling dope to create gangsters and junkies.
      The contractors who are not getting paid are lying on the A.B.L.P. Government.

  6. He is smart he doesn’t want to buy something that maybe as it leave Antigua it just disappeared off earth lol the Russian dem don’t play 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔 just saying

  7. A couple of things we need to focus on in this seemingly unending debacle. (1) Whilst filed legal actions remain pending, no purchaser can obtain free title to the vessel; they run the risk of continuing legal action, and possible seizure in another port. (2) The second bidder has also pulled out, so another auction sale looks more than likely. (3) The cost of maintaining the vessel to avoid its slow deterioration will continue to be a drain on the Treasury, whilst local creditors/contractors who Govt. owes will get pushed back. (4) The Port Manager talks glibly but he knows or understands little of the real issues that the Alpha Nero presents. Nuff said!

  8. In REAL countries, this would be enough to trigger a vote of ‘No Confidence’ and require the pm (Gaston) to step aside!

    • Well said @ Oh Please, I’m just as flummoxed as you are about a delay in a vote of “No Confidence” in this absolutely terrible government.

      Hopefully, Antiguans will awaken soon before it’s too late for the UPP to correct.

      Praying for a leader to put Antigua & Barbuda first!

      • For a vote of No Confidence to succeed you must have a majority of voters in favour in Parliament. This situation does not exist. This pappy show collection of numbskulls would continue on their merrry way with a majority of one obtained by voter transfer. There is no third party to add its vote to add to the UPP’s so calling for a vote of No Confidence would be a waste of time

  9. @Tenman,when will you ever get you head out of ALP’s mud? Again,ECLAC’s projections are based on questionable projects fed them by the government. With Gaston Browne’s track record of projects,ECLAC should be skeptical of anything this idiot says. Antigua and Barbuda is a failed state. What growth? They can’t pay people, the owe millions to some, where is the growth?
    But,I am casting persistent before swine. This saga just epitomizes the corruption, incompetence and greed of ALP. In time the truth will out.

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