1MDB-linked superyacht to be sold for $126 mln

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The superyacht Equanimity is seen in Langkawi, Malaysia, March 29, 2019. Malaysian government said Wednesday that it will sell the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)-linked superyacht Equanimity to Genting Malaysia at the price of 126 million U.S. dollars. Xinhua/Zhu Wei

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia will sell a superyacht allegedly bought with stolen funds from state fund 1MDB to casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd for $126 million, in the first major asset sale by Kuala Lumpur to recover billions lost from the fund.

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The superyacht Equanimity is among assets allegedly bought by fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and his associates with money taken from the fund, US and Malaysian investigators have said.

Jho Low, as he is known, allegedly paid $250 million for the 300-ft (91-m) yacht, which has an interior clad in marble and gold leaf, a spa and sauna, a 20-metre swimming pool, a movie theatre and helipad.

Malaysia set a minimum price tag of $130 million when it put the yacht up for sale in October, but had struggled to find a buyer.

“Many offers were received…and a few were over $100 million,” Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement on Wednesday, adding that Genting would pay the $126 million by the end of April.

The government would save $4.4 million in agent’s commission since it negotiated directly with Genting Malaysia, he added.

A spokesman for Low called the sale “a failed PR stunt”, saying Malaysia had accepted a “bargain basement sale price”.

In a statement, Genting said the acquisition would give it “a unique and competitive edge for its premium customers business.” The purchase will not affect 2019 earnings, it said.

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