Following a long legal battle, Equanimity is now officially going up for sale. A court in Malaysia ruled last week that the sale should take place to recoup funds misappropriated from a state development fund. Some of those funds went toward the acquisition of the 300-foot (91-meter) megayacht, as well as other assets.
Burgess is serving as the central agent for Equanimity, appointed by the High Court of Malaya, which sat as an admiralty court last week. Sitpah Selvaratnam, a lawyer representing the state fund, confirmed the news to us.
The situation involving Equanimity goes back to 2015. That summer, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit alleging several individuals tied to the then-Malaysian prime minister siphoned billions from 1MDB, the fund. Low Taek Jho, a.k.a. Jho Low, a Malaysian financier, was among them. Low allegedly used the money to buy the megayacht, along with fine art and jewelry. Indonesia seized the yacht in February this year off Bali, following a request by the Justice Department. Months of additional legal motions filed in multiple countries followed, including denials by Low of wrongdoing. Ultimately, however, Indonesian authorities delivered the yacht to Malaysia in August. The 1MDB fund then successfully filed for her arrest and laid claim to Equanimity.
The High Court of Malaya appointed Burgess as the central agent for the sale on October 5. Media reports in Malaysia indicated that Burgess’ website contained information about the appointment over the weekend. While no information was present when we checked on October 7, a Burgess spokesperson confirmed the news to us today.
Besides selecting Burgess, the High Court chose an appraiser to determine the yacht’s value. The sale process therefore should start soon, according to Selvaratnam, following steps outlined by the court. She anticipates bids being accepted toward the end of this month, for example, through the end of November. “There will be no published ‘asking price’ or reserve price,” Selvaratnam explains. She adds that the appraised value will remain confidential until the Court receives and opens all bids. In addition, “the High Court may decline even the highest bid if it falls below the formal Court-appraised value of the yacht,” Selvaratnam says.
If the Court does receive an acceptable bid, though, “the anticipated completion of the sale is mid-December, with Equanimity sailing out of Malaysia before Christmas,” she states.
Accommodating up to 22 guests and 28 crew, Equanimity saw delivery from Oceanco in 2014. Creature comforts include a beach club, along with a spa with a sauna, hammam, and plunge pool.