Has ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt grown fed up with waiting and decided not to buy the superyacht Alfa Nero? While the Antigua government has been paying $20,000 a month to maintain the 269-foot vessel, they are now turning to the second-highest bidder to make the purchase.

The Antiguan Government wants to see the superyacht Alfa Nero gone as legalities iron out in their own sweet time, even if it means selling it to the second-highest bidder. Ex-Google CEO and yacht enthusiast Eric Schmidt won the bid with almost $68 million. Still, thanks to hurdles created by Russian oligarch Andrew Guryev’s daughter, Yulia Guryeva-Motlokhov, who claimed to be the rightful owner, the sale couldn’t be completed.

The Antiguan Government can’t issue a free title to Schmidt, and without one, the tycoon has declined to pay. The authorities have little choice but to turn to the next-highest bidder. This unnamed party submitted a runner-up bid of $66 million, observing Antigua’s reserve price of $60 million. The third bid pledged during the auction was a measly $25 million, a far cry from the minimum sale price.

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The 347-foot Oceanco-built superyacht was seized in February 2022, and the government pays $28,000 weekly in upkeep, fuel, docking, and crew member salaries. Even the CEO of Port of Falmouth has had enough of the $120 million luxury vessel. “I just want to see it gone,” Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority CEO Darwin Telemaque told the London Times. “This whole . . . thing has been like a Tom Clancy novel. And I’m stuck in the middle.”

Even Schmidt has waited for nearly 100 days since buying the motoryacht from the Antiguan government. On Friday, Information Minister Melford Nicholas told the post-Cabinet press briefing that Eric Schmidt’s interest would likely decline due to the delays. “The issue has to do with whether or not we could grant the assurances of free title to Mr. Schmidt,” explained Melford Nicholas. “I think that may be an issue that will cause us to have to turn to a second buyer.”

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The Alfa Nero has been docked at Antigua’s Falmouth Harbour since more than a year now.

Whether Schmidt’s patience will pay off or run out was the question up til now. Thanks to the ever-changing scenarios around the motoryacht, new questions are arising without answers. I guess some things never change.

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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.