UPDATE, APRIL 30, 2019: Equanimity has a new name, Tranquility. Genting Malaysia is finalizing specifics on how the yacht will serve its VIP customers.
Read on for our original article.
The Malaysian government is finally freeing itself from maintaining the megayacht it seized from a fugitive financier. Equanimity sold to Genting Malaysia, a resort and casino company, for $126 million. The megayacht did so via a private sale, directly between the government and the company.
Malaysia’s attorney general, Tommy Thomas, revealed the sale on April 3. In a statement sent to media outlets, he indicated that Genting Malaysia would pay the full agreed-upon amount by the end of this month. Furthermore, he confirmed that the resort and casino company made its offer on March 28. This followed a judge ruling in February that a direct sale could take place, after other previous attempts failed.
Genting Malaysia issued a statement, too. The megayacht will provide “a unique and competitive edge for its premium customers business,” according to Reuters.
Now with Equanimity sold, the $126 million represents the largest amount that the Malaysian government will have recouped from funds siphoned from a state development fund. Six countries, including the United States, allege that Jho Low, a financier, along with several others stole $4.5 billion from that fund, 1MDB. In addition, they allege that Low acquired the yacht for $250 million, taken from the siphoned money.
The Malaysian High Court ordered Equanimity sold last fall, via a sealed-bid process. While several bids came in, none met the court’s minimum acceptable price. Therefore, the court set a new judicial sale, with $130 million as a guide value. That, too, failed to attract an acceptable offer. “Many offer were received…and a few were over $100 million,” Thomas says in the statement. He adds that the $126 million “is the best received offer over five months from October 2018, when the Equanimity was first put up for sale.”
Low has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. A spokesperson issued a statement to Reuters, saying Equanimity sold for a “bargain basement sale price.” The spokesperson further calls the sale “a failed PR stunt.”
Genting Malaysia is a subsidiary of Genting Group. The latter has a few holdings in yachting, besides resorts and casinos. In fact, it owns Wider Yachts, along with partial stakes in Grand Banks and U-Boat Worx.