Damen Yachting, the shipyard responsible for centibillionaire Jeff Bezos’s $75 million support vessel “Abeona” and the 190-foot ice-class explorer “Pink Shadow,” has initiated legal action against the Dutch state due to financial losses stemming from European Union sanctions on Russia. The company, which produces industrial, military vessels, and luxury yachts, experienced financial setbacks as several contracts were terminated because of the sanctions. Although they didn’t specify the exact number of canceled contracts or the extent of the economic damage, it’s presumed to be substantial, given the high-value vessels they typically construct.
In March 2022, reports indicated that Damen Yachting was fulfilling two orders for Russian clients. However, as the Dutch government barred 20 yachts from departing the country in April 2022, Damen Yachting faced challenges. At that time, fourteen ships were under construction, four boats were undergoing refit, and two were in winter storage, according to the customs department. This collection of luxury vessels also featured two superyachts, each exceeding 300 feet in length.
Company spokesperson Rick van de Weg noted that the yard had contracts for several ships that were subsequently nullified. Van de Weg also mentioned that Damen once operated an engineering office in Russia, but severed connections with that office after the conflict started, as reported by Tradewinds. “A significant portion of our revenue comes from that region. Hence, it wasn’t a decision taken lightly,” the spokesperson expressed. Beyond the vessels, Damen Yachting had to account for the wellbeing of employees at a Ukrainian design base in Mykolaev, a city under siege.