The superyacht Alfa Nero is mired in a fresh controversy, along with an oligarch’s daughter, now a billionaire from Maryland is claiming ownership of the 269-feet long abandoned vessel. Additionally, he is also suing the government of Antigua for millions of dollars.

Via Charterworld


Motoryacht Alfa Nero and American billionaire Eric Schmidt are starting to appear as star-crossed lovers; they are not meant to be! The vessel, abandoned in February 2022, saw a ray of hope when the Government of Antigua decided to auction it. After seizing the luxury vessel on the 11th of April, 2023, she was dubbed a hazard that had to be auctioned. Antigua lobbied the US government to lift sanctions on the 269-foot-long ship to help auction it. Once this hurdle was passed, the superyacht Alfa Nero was auctioned on the 16th of June 2023 to ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt on live TV for nearly $68 million.

Officials from Antigua and lawyers for the crew signing documents of the yacht’s seizure onboard the Alfa Nero.

The auction was followed by injunctions by Russian oligarch Andrew Guryev’s daughter, Yulia, who claimed to be the rightful owner of the vessel. Complicating the quagmire even further is American billionaire Warren Halle, who has now sued the government of Antigua. The businessman stated that on the 14th of March 2023, before the seizure of the vessel, he met with Prime Minister Gaston Brown for the purchase of the Oceanco beauty.

Gaston Browne, the prime minister of Antigua.

Prime Minister Brown asked the entrepreneur to top a previous offer for the pleasure craft, following which he could approve the matter in the parliament. It would’ve done the businessman good to learn that the $120 million Alfa Nero was still under OFAC sanctions and considered blocked property.

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Alfa Nero docked at Falmouth harbor.

Unaware claimant Warren Halle instructed a transfer of $10 million to the trust account of Moore & Co. in Coral Gables, Florida, intending to purchase the vessel. So excited was the American to buy this vessel that he hired lawyers and professional captains for his soon-to-be-asset. He transferred the $10 million to the trust account and decided to charter the 269-footer for $800,000 a week as soon as he possessed the pleasure craft. All this took place even before Andrew Guryev’s yacht was seized. Finally, on the 11th of April, 2023, the ship was captured, followed by the live auction. Mr. Halle was informed two months later, on the 23rd of May 2023, that the Prime Minister did not have the authority to sell him the superyacht, and it could only be bought in the auction.

Alfa Nero at Antigua’s Falmouth harbor.

With a bid of $66 million, Warren Halle came second to Eric Schmidt, who won the battle with a cool $67.6 million. Schmidt, per a clause, was allotted a week to complete the purchase of the vessel, or the second highest bidder would be given the ship. Evidently, that hasn’t happened. On the 29th of June 2023, Halle took a significant legal step and filed an injunction preventing the sale of the motor vessel, ‘Alfa Nero,’ to defaulter Eric Schmidt.

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The infinity pool.Via Charterworld

The claim of $5,683,000 was made for breach of contract from the defendants. In the past few months, Halle suffered a loss of nearly $210,000, pursuing and preparing for the Alfa Nero Yacht. We can’t wait to witness Halle emerging as the final owner of the superyacht Alfa Nero, beating billionaire Eric Smchnt. Or will Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov have the last laugh?

Andrew Guryev’s daughter is challenging the sale of Alfa Nero by the Antiguan government.

Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov claimed ownership of the luxury vessel Alfa Nero-
At the beginning of July 2023, the daughter of the Russian oligarch Andrew Guryev, Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, filed an injunction as the owner of the $120 million luxury vessel, which was moored in Falmouth Harbor since February 2022. The high court rejected her appeal, but the daughter of the fertilizer tycoon was determined to renege on the yacht’s sale. Attorney Dr. David Dorsett confirmed that the request would “almost certainly” be filed again. “Judge Rene Williams ruled against our application. The client has been made aware, and her instructions are clear. We will proceed with an appeal,” Dr Dorsett said. “We think the refusal should be challenged, and we will be doing so with some speed.”

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.