Updated Aug 22, 2022 - World

First seized superyacht to be sold at auction

Russian oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Friday, June 4, 2021.

Russian oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky at Russia's St. Petersburg International Economic Forum last year. Photo: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A superyacht formerly owned by sanctioned Russian tycoon Dmitry Pumpyansky will be sold on Tuesday, according to auction house Howe Robinson Partners.

Why it matters: The 240-foot Axioma is the first of several superyachts seized in response to the Russian military's invasion of Ukraine to be sold at auction, Nigel Hollyer, a Howe Robinson Partners broker, told Bloomberg on Sunday.

Driving the news: The yacht, which features an infinity swimming pool and 3D cinema, was seized in Gibraltar last March as the United Kingdom and European Union added Pumpyansky to its sanctions list.

  • JPMorgan successfully argued in a court in the British overseas territory at the time that Pumpyansky did not pay a $20.6 million loan, per Bloomberg.

By the numbers: The Axioma is valued at $75 million, according to the BBC.

The big picture: There have been calls by the U.S. and other governments to give the proceeds of assets seized from Russian oligarchs to Ukraine, for military and humanitarian aid.

  • Priority for proceeds from the Axioma sale will go toward "covering the outstanding debt to JPMorgan (the mortgagee) and then the cost of arrest," Hollyer told Axios via email on Monday.
  • "Any surplus funds will be retained in an account with the Supreme Court Gibraltar. These funds will be frozen until such time that sanctions are resolved," he added. "As I understand it, the law does not allow for distribution to any third party."
  • JP Morgan declined to comment on the sale.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Hollyer.

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