Privilege Yard Under Bankruptcy Auction

By order of an Italian court, the defunct Privilege Yard is up for auction. Equally notable, the long-stalled, partially constructed megayacht project P430 is available for bid, too.

A Civitavecchia bankruptcy court is soliciting an opening bid of €9.4 million (approximately $11.6 million at press time) for the facilities. This follows two previous unsuccessful auctions over the past several years. Specifically, the court is auctioning surface property rights to 11 buildings and three electric substations. The buildings include several warehouses, for example, as well as a metal fabrication site, joinery shop, and offices. In total, they comprise about 1.1 million square feet (102,200 square meters). The land upon which these all sit, however, is public property. A concession through 2039 permits it for shipyard use.

P430 (pictured, during construction in 2014) still sits there. Also called Privilege One, the megayacht was Privilege Yard’s first contract, measuring 417 feet (127 meters). Construction started in 2008, with completion set for 2012. That never occurred. As of 2014, P430 was 60 percent finished. According to the bankruptcy-auction notice, the winning bidder may take on her construction for six months. If so desired, upon approval, construction rights may extend another six months.

Privilege Yard was the brainchild of Mario La Via, a self-described “giga yacht specialist.” He reportedly had a role in several megayachts exceeding 330 feet (100 meters) through the 1980s and 1990s. This led him to open Privilege Yard in 2008, a purpose-built site. He envisioned building up to three megayachts to 689 feet (210 meters) simultaneously. Five banks agreed to lend a total of €190 million as a construction loan for P430/Privilege One.

Troubles soon ensued, however. While the banks initially provided €125 million, in December 2012, one ceased lending due to the financial crisis. That same month, craftspeople told local media they were unpaid. In 2014, La Via announced funding was restarting, and work would resume. He added that Privilege One would launch late that year or in early 2015.

In August 2016, though, La Via was placed under house arrest. It stemmed from an investigation into the misappropriation of hundreds of millions of euros.

Bidding for Privilege Yard remains open until April 19. The court intends to formally sign hand-over documents the following day.

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