Live news updates: Russian oligarch’s seized superyacht auctioned to repay JPMorgan loan

The first superyacht seized from a sanctioned Russian oligarch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been sold after attracting 63 bids at an auction in Gibraltar, the auctioneers said.

Axioma, a luxury 236-foot vessel belonging to Russian billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky, was sold by order of Gibraltar’s Admiralty Court to repay JPMorgan for a €20.5mn loan tied to the vessel.

The yacht, with an estimated value of €55mn-€60mn, was impounded in Gibraltar in March, a small British territory at the entrance to the Mediterranean, as authorities around the world seized luxury vessels belonging to sanctioned Russians.

Pumpyansky, the former owner of OAO TMK, Russia’s biggest steel pipe maker, had sanctions imposed on him by the EU and the UK in March, when British authorities described him as one of the oligarchs closest to Russian president Vladimir Putin. The UK estimated his net worth at £1.84bn.

The auction attracted 63 sealed bids by Tuesday’s deadline, said Nigel Hollyer, a broker with Howe Robinson. In consultation with Gibraltar’s Admiralty Marshal, a final decision on the winning bid is expected to be reached by Monday, but the identity of the new owner will not be disclosed, Hollyer added.

The Axioma, originally named Red Square, features a glass elevator, an infinity pool and a 3D cinema, among other amenities. It was previously available for charter for up to €635,000 a week.

According to court documents cited by Reuters, JPMorgan won a court order in Gibraltar allowing for the sale of the yacht after Pumpyansky failed to repay a €20.5mn loan made to an investment company he owned.


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