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Another twist emerges in the Indian Empress saga

The fate of 95-metre (312-foot) superyacht Indian Empress is once again unclear. After being sold at auction on 28th June, the winning bidder has reportedly failed to pay the purchase price within the given timeframe.

The majestic Oceanco superyacht was sold at auction in Malta for €45.3 million, some €35 million below her most recent €80 million valuation in March. The purchaser, now confirmed as Maltese firm Credityacht Ltd., did not pay this sum to the courts within seven days of the sale as ordered.

In addition, the sale of the superyacht may be cancelled entirely. It is reported that the original owners filed an appeal to postpone the auction, but this was refused by authorities.

Ann Fenech, managing partner of Fenech and Fenech Advocates, opened up further to SuperYacht Times about the latest development, “The owners claimed that an MOA [memorandum of agreement] had been signed with this same buyer [Credityacht] in May, but they had some issues with paying the purchase price. The court had refused the application and the sale went ahead. We are all waiting to see what happens.”

Indian Empress was ordered for sale by the Civil Court (first hall) of Malta in May, on the application of Melita Power Diesel. Previous owner Vijay Vittal Mallya, a former politician and Formula One boss, was arrested in London in October 2017 at the request of the Indian government, which requested his extradition to stand trial over an alleged debt of more than ₹90 billion (Indian rupees; approximately €1.13 billion).

Indian Empress was left abandoned after Mallya’s arrest, leaving the 40-plus-strong crew aboard the superyacht with months of unpaid wages totalling in excess of €860,000. Maritime workers union Nautilus International has confirmed it is hoping to use the funds raised from the sale of the vessel to pay these outstanding wages.

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