Buyers sense a bargain at first invasion-related sale of oligarch’s $75m superyacht, says auction lead

  • The $75m superyacht Axioma, seized from oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, will be auctioned off in Gibraltar. 
  • The auction lead says there has been worldwide interest in the luxurious boat. 
  • The funds from the sale will reportedly go to investment bank JP Morgan. 

A $75m superyacht seized from a Russian oligarch after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is to be sold off in Gibraltar in the first such auction since the war broke out. 

The luxury 240-foot Axioma, fitted with a gym, spa, cinema, and six bedrooms, was seized after docking in Gibraltar in March. 

It was owned by the Russian tycoon Dmitry Pumpyansky, who had a net worth of $1.1 billion, and is the owner of Russia’s largest steel pipe maker, TMK, Forbes reported. 

His assets were frozen by the UK and the EU as part of a mass of sanctions imposed over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss describing Pumpyansky as one of the “major oligarchs” who are “closest to Putin.”

Speaking to The Guardian, Nigel Hollyer, the broker leading the auction, said there had been an “unexpected late surge by prospective buyers,” with over 30 people flying to the UK enclave in the Mediterranean to view the yacht.  

“They are people who own or have owned boats of similar size and have been attracted to this boat because of the judicial sale process – they are convinced they’re going to get a bargain,” he told The Guardian..

The newspaper also reports that, rather than going to the Ukrainian people, the money from the sale will be going to investment bank JP Morgan, which says that previous owner Dmitry Pumpyansky owes them significant amounts of money. 

There has previously been significant support for the funds from seized Russian assets to be given to Ukraine, with Zelenskyy having prosed the plan at the 21 April meeting of World Bank and International Monetary Fund member states.