Superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch auctioned in Gibraltar

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A luxury yacht once owned by sanctioned billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky has attracted 63 bids in Gibraltar, in the first public auction of an asset seized since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The five deck, 72-meter (236 feet) yacht Axioma was put up for sale after JPMorgan Chase & Co. called in a 20.5 million-euro ($20.4 million) tied to the vessel.

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The floating palace, which boasts an infinity swimming pool plus a 3D cinema, was impounded in March by authorities on the British territory at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s the first superyacht to be publicly auctioned since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed authorities to freeze luxury vessels in ports around the world.

The value of the sealed bids and the details of the bidder are confidential, the Office of the Admiralty Marshall said Tuesday. Once the transaction has been completed then information on the sale will be released in roughly two weeks.

JPMorgan provided the loan as recently as December 2021, according to court filings, with Pumpyansky named as the guarantor. But just days after the invasion, the billionaire transferred his shares in a holding company to another individual, leaving JPMorgan to demand repayment.

Pumpyansky was sanctioned by the European Union on March 10 and then by the UK five days later. Like other tycoons targeted, he has sought to restructure his key assets. He’s offloaded his stake in TMK PJSC, the biggest steel pipemaker in Russia, and left its board of directors.

The UK estimated that Pumpyansky is worth £1.8 billion ($2.1 billion).

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