Antigua and Barbuda granted licence for Alfa Nero sale


The auction of superyacht Alfa Nero is set to continue, following a licence being given to Antigua and Barbuda from the US government. But the vessel is yet to be formally removed from the US sanctions list.

The 270ft (82m) Oceanco superyacht has been abandoned by its owner in Falmouth Harbour, West Indies (pictured) for more than a year. Believed to belong to a sanctioned Russian oligarch, Alfa Nero was put up for judicial auction earlier this year.

However, the auction came to a halt as the vessel is still subject to US sanctions. Ronald Sanders, Antigua’s and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the US, has now confirmed the US has granted the Caribbean nation license to go ahead with the sale.

On May 18th, the US Department of the Treasury issued licence No. RUSSIA-EO14024-2023-1060959-1, to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, authorising persons licensed by the US Treasury to participate in the Government of Antigua and Barbuda auction of the vessel M/Y Alfa Nero,” said Sanders.

The license also authorises transactions that include bidding on the purchase of the vessel, paying deposits and providing financing, insurance, or funding in connection with the purchase, Sanders added.

However, the license does not formally delist Alfa Nero from the US sanctions list. Sanders explained that changes to this are “still being pursued” by the government of Antigua and Barbuda.

This is the latest update in the Alfa Nero saga. Earlier this year, the government of Antigua and Barbuda passed a law to allow it to seize and sell the yacht, with the proceeds going to the state.

It could earn the small island nation a sizable sum too. According to Dennis Causier, senior superyacht specialist, VesselsValue the superyacht is worth a cool $79.5m (€75.3m).

Ambassador Lionel Hurst, chief of staff, Government of Antigua and Barbuda told Superyacht Investor that the government has received “serious offers” of more than $50m for the vessel

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