Genting Malaysia buys 1MDB-tied superyacht

Malaysia-owned super-yacht “The Equanimity” has been sold to Genting Malaysia Bhd for $126 million, after a five-month sale period, local media reports.

The superyacht was one of the many luxury items seized by the government as part of its probe into money laundering in the 1MDB scandal.

The scandal came about in 2015, when Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Najib Razak was accused of channeling over RM 2.67 billion (US$ 700 million) from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), to his personal bank accounts.

Attorney General Tommy Thomas said the $126 million purchase price will be paid by Genting and received by Court by the end of April 2019, adding that Genting’s offer was negotiated directly with the government.

Thomas said that the Malaysian government is appreciative of the offer made by Genting, given the group itself owns a shipyard that builds superyachts and operates a luxury yacht division on its own.

Commenting on the sale, Samuel Yin Shao Yang of Maybank Investment Bank said the purchase price seemed fair relative to the US$130 million valuations. He also said he hoped the gesture from Genting will persuade the Ministry of Finance to drop its GITP tax incentive case against Genting Malaysia.

Regarding the use case, Yin noted that many casino companies own yachts on top of jets to service VVIPs, so it would not be unusual for Genting to use the superyacht for the same.