€35M offered for abandoned 95m superyacht Indian Empress in private sale
by Miranda Blazeby
The abandoned superyacht Indian Empress may have been sold at last after a buyer offered to pay €35 million for the yacht in a private sale.
The bid from Sea Beauty Yachting Limited came a day before the yacht's second scheduled public auction.
The 95 metre superyacht was due to be reauctioned on September 19 after the previous winning bidder Crediyacht, which was representing an Iranian buyer, failed to pay the the €43.5 million price in time.
However, Barclays (the mortgagee) appealed to the Maltese Court to allow a private sale of the yacht for €35 million.
The case has now been adjourned until September 25 when the court will decide whether or not to grant the private sale. If it goes through, the previous winning bidder Crediyacht, which was banned from participating on the second auction, will be ordered to pay the difference in sale price.
It comes after a number of items were removed from the yacht, including a piano once believed to belong to Elton John and a number of valuable paintings.
The long running dispute dates back to September 2017 when the unknown owner of Indian Empress is understood to have abandoned the yacht. It is alleged that more than 40 crew on board have not been paid since this point. Individuals are understood to be owed between $6,250 to more than $92,000 each. The total amount is thought to exceed $1 million in unpaid wages.
Strategic organiser of maritime union Nautilus Danny McGowan said: “After the disappointment of the first sale falling through, we are pleased to hear of this update. We urge the buyer to deposit the funds with the court as soon as possible so that our members can put the matter behind them with no further obstacles to them receiving what they are owed.”
The yacht was impounded in March this year on behalf of 13 creditors who are reported to be owed around €2 million. Local reports suggested the yacht was boarded by port officials who prevented her from leaving the port. Marine Traffic confirms the yacht remains in Malta. It is understood that while some crew remain working onboard, many have left to seek alternative employment.
Launched by Oceanco in 2000, Indian Empress was the subject of a major 2016 refit. She offers accommodation for up to 12 guests and 30 crewmembers in a 3,176GT interior.