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A Russian Oligarch’s $75 Million Superyacht Just Got Auctioned Off in Gibraltar

It's the first public sale of an oligarch's seized asset since russia invaded ukraine., rachel cormack.

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View of the AXIOMA superyacht docked in Marseille. The AXIOMA superyacht linked to a Russian billionaire is to be auctioned off in Gibraltar. Authorized to enter the waters of Gibraltar, it had been seized by the authorities in March 2022. (Photo by Gerard Bottino / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

What becomes of a sanctioned Russian billionaire’s superyacht after it’s seized ? In the case of the $75 million Axioma , the end result was an auction for way below its market value.

The lavish 236-footer, which was seized from Russian steel magnate Dmitry Pumpyansky in March, attracted 63 bids at a sale in Gibraltar. A true watershed moment, it is the first public auction of an oligarch’s asset since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February.

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The superyacht, which boasts six luxurious guest cabins, an infinity pool, a spa and a 3-D cinema, was detained by the Gibraltar government after a legal claim from JP Morgan said Pumpyansky’s holding company Pyrene Investments owed the bank more than $20 million.

The Office of the Admiralty Marshal in Gibraltar confirmed on Tuesday that 63 bids were received for Axioma , but refused to reveal the value of the bids, as reported by the Guardian .

View of the AXIOMA superyacht docked in Marseille. The AXIOMA superyacht linked to a Russian billionaire is to be auctioned off in Gibraltar. Authorized to enter the waters of Gibraltar, it had been seized by the authorities in March 2022. (Photo by Gerard Bottino / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)

“Axioma” docked in Marseille, France in June.  Gerard Bottino / SOPA Images

“The successful bidder will be selected by the Admiralty Marshal but details of the bidder and the value of the offer will remain confidential,” the court said in a statement. “Details about the sale value of the vessel will be made available once the transaction has been completed which could take place in approximately 10 to 14 days.”

James Jaffa, a lawyer for British firm Jaffa & Co, told the Guardian that he expects Axioma to sell for “way below” $20 million.

The west has confiscated billions worth of assets since March. British and American authorities have previously said they would seek to funnel the proceeds of sold assets back into Ukraine. This auction has attracted controversy, though, because Axioma has been sold not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people, but for the US investment bank.

Still, the has set a “benchmark” for other banks looking to recoup losses by auctioning assets.

“ Axioma will be a watershed moment for assets that have bank financing against them because all the other banks will realize that the asset can be sold and that they can get some or all of their money back,” Jaffa adds.

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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axioma yacht gibraltar

Auctioned superyacht Axioma bound for Turkey

The 72.5-metre superyacht Axioma has left her berth in Gibraltar and is currently en route to Turkey under new ownership, according to her AIS (automatic identification systems).  This is the first voyage the yacht has undertaken since her arrest in March of last year and subsequent auction in September when she fetched $37,500,055 and 63 bids.

Her AIS records her destination as Gemlik, a commercial port just south of Istanbul. It has been speculated that she could be headed for her home shipyard of Dunya Yachts which is located around 100 kilometres from Gemlik. Prior to the yacht's arrest, the shipyard announced that it was constructing a 48-metre support vessel for Axioma.  

Pictures on social media indicate that Axioma is making at least part of the 2,117 nautical mile journey by tow.

Axioma was sold at auction by the Admiralty Court of Gibraltar on August 23 under an “as is, where is” private auction with Howe Robinson handling the sale. 

The sale was finalised on September 27 after being subjected to an enhanced due diligence process. The Court confirmed that "funds will remain in Court for a period of 60 days from the date the sale is advertised in Lloyd’s List".

"Any person with a claim against the vessel, or the proceeds of sale thereof, needs to submit a claim before the expiration of the said period," said a spokesperson for the Court.

The auction comes after the superyacht was arrested at the end of March as a result of sanctions against Russia.

She marked the first Russian-owned superyacht to be listed for sale since the sanctions were introduced in 2022. It is understood that she was auctioned following a loan violation, which arose after the yacht’s former owner was added to the European Union's list of sanctioned individuals.

Days before the auction, a license granted by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control authorised US-based buyers to participate in the sale.

Axioma was built in 2013 by Dunya Yachts and delivered under the name Red Square . She has proven herself to be a highly popular and versatile charter platform over the years, with a consistently booked-up calendar.

She offers accommodation for up to 12 guests in six cabins with a complement for a crew of 20. She has been meticulously maintained over the years, most recently with a full-scale refit in 2020 which gave her a bright new hull colour.

Onboard highlights include a 3D cinema room and a generous aft deck swimming pool that overlooks the swim platform. There is a second jacuzzi on the upper deck aft, alongside a good variety of shaded and non-shaded al fresco areas across her decks.

The yacht’s interiors have been crafted by legendary designer Alberto Pinto, who has given her a chic, monochromatic look that complements her volume and natural light. She features a double-height main saloon with a mezzanine area and a private owner’s deck with a skylight.

She is powered by twin Caterpillar engines which give her a top speed of 18 knots and is ABS-classed. 

The yacht was listed without a reserve price and the final auction price was never disclosed. The identity of the buyer was also withheld.  

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Gibraltar seized a $75 million superyacht owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch, the local government said

  • Gibraltar's government said on Monday it seized a $75 million yacht owned by a Russian oligarch.
  • The government told Insider that the yacht, Axioma, was owned by the billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky.
  • Axioma was previously docked in Antigua, in the Caribbean, before it sailed to Gibraltar.

Insider Today

A $75 million superyacht owned by a sanctioned Russian oligarch was seized upon docking in Gibraltar, the local government said.

The 240-foot  Axioma is owned by the Russian businessperson Dmitry Pumpyansky, the government of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain's south coast, told Insider.

Pumpyansky, who has an estimated net worth of $1.1 billion, 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 sanctions imposed last week over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Axioma is valued by SuperYachtFan at $75 million. It was previously docked in Antigua, an island in the Caribbean, until it set sail on March 3. It arrived in Gibraltar 18 days later, the ship tracker Marine Traffic showed.

In a statement on Monday, Gibraltar's government said Axioma was "confirmed to be the subject of an arrest action by a leading international bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar." It added, "The vessel is now subject to arrest by the Admiralty Marshal until further order."

In a later statement to Insider, the Gibraltar government said, "The owner of the yacht is Dmitry Pumpyansky."

Axioma, built in 2013, can host 22 guests and crew members on board, SuperYachtFan said. Axioma also features two big swimming pools, a gym, and a cinema, SuperYachtFan added.

Several superyachts linked to Russian oligarchs have been seized by countries that have sanctioned them as part of efforts to punish Russia and President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.

Italy has seized a $578 million yacht linked to Andrey Melnichenko; France has impounded a $120 million vessel linked to Igor Sechin; and Spain has detained a $153 million superyacht linked to Sergei Chemezov.

Watch: BILL BROWDER: How sanctions on Russia hurt Putin's closest allies

axioma yacht gibraltar

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21st March 2022, 20:26

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PRESS RELEASE - Yacht AXIOMA Entry into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters

22 Mar 2022

PRESS RELEASE - Yacht AXIOMA Entry into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters Image

The Captain of the Port today granted permission, after consultation with the Chief Minister as Minister with responsibility or Sanctions, for the entry into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) of a vessel that was confirmed to be the subject of an arrest action by a leading international bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. Given the ultimate beneficial ownership of the vessel, permission would not normally have been granted for the vessel to enter BGTW. However, this has been exceptionally allowed in the interests of creditors with proper claims against the vessel and who seek the assistance of the Admiralty jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to enforce such claims. The vessel is now subject to arrest by the Admiralty Marshal until further order.

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72m M/Y Axioma Placed Under Temporary Arrest in Gibraltar

axioma yacht gibraltar

M/Y Axioma has been placed under temporary arrest by Spanish officials after entering British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW) on March 21. The order for the arrest is a result of the European Union's economic sanctions against Russia. 

Axioma was granted permission to enter BGTW by the Captain of the Port, even though the vessel “was confirmed to be the subject of an arrest action by a leading international bank in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar,” according to a Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar press release from that day.

The release says that permission would not normally be granted because of the “ultimate beneficial ownership of the vessel” but an exception was made “in the interests of creditors with proper claims against the vessel and who seek the assistance of the Admiralty jurisdiction of the Supreme court to enforce such claims.”

The 72.5-meter yacht will remain “subject to arrest by the Admiralty Marshal until further order.”

In the week prior, the Spanish government provisionally retained three vessels in its ports: 85-meter M/Y Valerie , 48-meter M/Y Lady Anastasia , and 135-meter M/Y Crescent .

Axioma was delivered in 2013 by Turkish yard Dunya Yachts. Formerly known as Red Square , she features exteriors from Sterling Scott and interiors by the late Alberto Pinto. Axioma and her 20-strong crew had spent the winter on charter in the Caribbean.

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Superyacht linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch auctioned in Gibraltar

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The Axioma superyacht belonging to Russian oligarch Dmitrievich Pumpyansky who is on the EU's list of sanctioned Russians is seen docked in Gibraltar

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axioma yacht gibraltar

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Joan is a Barcelona-based correspondent reporting on politics, economics and social issues, such as migration and the car industry’s green transition, and also conducting investigative pieces. With over 15 years of experience, Joan previously worked as Washington correspondent for Spain’s leading newspaper EL PAÍS, closely covering the Obama and Trump administrations, electoral campaigns and major news; at Spanish newspapers Ara and Público in Madrid, and at EFE news agency in Buenos Aires and Barcelona. He is a journalism graduate from Barcelona’s Autonomous University, including an exchange program in Amsterdam and New York, and holds a business executive degree from IESE Business School

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Gibraltar impounds Russian oligarch’s $75m superyacht Axioma

The superyacht is owned by OAO TMK chairman Dmitry Pumpyansky, who is included on UK and EU lists of sanctioned individuals.

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British overseas territory Gibraltar has seized a $75m superyacht, Axioma, owned by sanctioned Russian oligarch Dmitry Pumpyansky, the owner and chairman of oil and gas steel pipes manufacturer OAO TMK.

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OAO TMK supplies Russia’s state-owned energy entity Gazprom .

At the start of this month, billionaire Pumpyansky was included in the UK and European Union lists of sanctioned individuals, reported The Guardian .

Following the impounding of Pumpyansky’s yacht, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that they are doing all they can ‘to cripple Russia’s aviation and shipping industries.’

He added: “It’s not just here in the UK those sanctions apply, either. They are being mirrored in our overseas territories too.”

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Built in 2013, Axioma is a 240ft superyacht that can accommodate 12 guests and 20 crew members, according to SuperYachtFan .

Axioma was previously moored in the Caribbean island of Antigua. The superyacht set sail on 3 March and reached Gibraltar 18 days later, reported Business Insider , citing Marine Traffic.

This news surfaced after two superyachts owned by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich were moved to dock at Turkish ports.

Abramovich’s 163m yacht Eclipse docked at Marmaris port, while his other yacht, Solaris, moored at Bodrum port. Turkey has not imposed economic sanctions on Russia.

Following Western sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, superyachts owned by Russian oligarchs have been impounded by various governments.

Last week, Russian oligarch Igor Sechin’s superyacht, called Crescent , was seized by Spanish officials in the eastern region of Catalonia.

The 135m-long Crescent is worth $600m and registered in the Cayman Islands.

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By SuperyachtNews 21 Jul 2022

72m Axioma will sell via judicial auction following arrest

The supreme court in gibraltar have ordered that the admiralty marshall should proceed with the judicial auction….

Image for article 72m Axioma will sell via judicial auction following arrest

Image credit: @Gibdan1  on Twitter

The 72m custom motor yacht Axioma will sell via a judicial auction. This motoryacht is an exceptional case in relation to the broader sanction fallout due to the fact that it has been technically arrested by the American investment bank, JP Morgan. 

It was previously reported that Axioma would sell following a court mandate in late June, however, there had been some complications as the bank were concerned about other regulatory bodies' involvement with the sale. It has now been confirmed that the Supreme Court in Gibraltar has ordered that the Admiralty Mashall should proceed with the judicial auction despite the lack of communication from other regulatory bodies.  The Gibraltar Admiralty Marshall’s standing broker is, allegedly, Howe Robinson - a privately owned shipbroking house based in London.

When we built Axioma we made sure it had all the features to make it perfect for a superyacht vacation. The yacht went on to become one of the world's most popular charter yachts. For more about our new builds see: https://t.co/kJ9t1hS4nT Photo by Jeff Brown @BreedMedia pic.twitter.com/gKRyyYVoAL — Dunya Yachts (@DunyaYachts) February 18, 2019

A source involved with the judicial auction spoke with SuperyachtNews about the processes involved with selling this particular superyacht following its arrest: “The Gibraltar authorities granted that licence ( to permit the sale), within about a month - so fairly quickly. But it appeared the bank were concerned with other regulatory authorities involved with the boat, including Luxembourg and particularly Malta, given that the flag is Maltese. And so I think the bank's problem was that they've not had an answer from the Maltese after quite some time, so today's application was to ask the court to order the sale and for the judicial auction to proceed. And notwithstanding the silence from the Maltese authorities about whether they feel that they have any jurisdiction over the boat and whether or not a licence would be needed from them.”

The superyacht is allegedly owned by Dmitry Pumpyanksy, a Russian Billionaire who made his fortune manufacturing steel pipes for the oil and gas industry. Pumpyanksy was the sole shareholder of Pyrene Investments, which he used to take out a $22 million loan with JP Morgan. Once Pumpyanksy was put on the sanction list it became illegal for any bank to accept repayments from him, and so, this meant that JP Morgan were able to technically seize the yacht, and then sell it, as a return on their investment.

The 106m Lurssen M/Y Amadea is the other high-profile Russian-owned superyacht that has been recently seized. This superyacht is also an exceptional case - and no, not because a Fabergé egg was found on board , but because it is the only yacht to have been arrested by the US Justice Department's Taskforce ‘KleptoCapture’. It has been alleged that Amadea will also go up for sale via a judicial auction, however, at this point in the proceedings, it is too early to confirm.

axioma yacht gibraltar

Moreover, it remains to be seen what this means for Axioma’s in-build support vessel MY BRO , which was originally expected to be delivered in 2023. The sale of these two vessels could very well spark a debate about what should become of yachts that are owned by sanctioned individuals. It may also kick up some of the old dust that had settled following the media storm in March early this year. For now, it will be interesting to see how tight the market really is and whether or not there are individuals out there willing to take ownership of these iconic yachts, tarnished as they may be.

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Inside Axioma: The First Seized Superyacht To Go Up For Auction

Time for a sneak peek.

Inside Axioma: The First Seized Superyacht To Go Up For Auction

Designer superyacht Axioma is going to be the first seized Russian vessel to go to auction. It has a slightly unusual past though . Here’s how it used to look before it got put under lock and key (as well as a video showing the little-known side of superyachting you’ve probably never thought about).

News broke on Wednesday that Axioma, a gorgeous $75 million superyacht, will be the first seized Russian schooner to go to auction – in a single day, and without reserve.

Axioma was delivered in 2013 and owned by billionaire Dmitry Pumpyansky, who made his fortune in the gas and steel industries. According to Boat International , Axioma will be flogged off on August the 23rd, 2022. Axioma was seized by authorities in Gibraltar in March on the basis of an outstanding 12.5 million loan due to J.P. Morgan, which the yacht’s international management company had not paid. Around this time, authorities realised Pumpyansky was included on sanctions lists – and discovered he was the beneficiary (read: owner) of the vessel. 

Last month, a Gibraltar court ruled that Axioma should be sold at auction on an “as is, where is” basis, to give J.P. Morgan its money back. The fact that it’s a no reserve auction has sparked rumours it will sell for much less than it’s worth (its estimated value is $75 million).

Axioma is one of the rare Russian-owned superyachts that people could charter when its owner wasn’t using it. It was very popular and reading its list of features, it’s easy to see why. The 236-foot (72-meter) yacht easily takes 12 guests (and a crew of 20), has a jacuzzi on the sun deck, a pool, a steam room, a sauna, an owner suite with its own private deck, a smorgasbord of water toys, various lounge areas and a 3D private cinema.

As Autoevolution reports, it was built by Dunya Shipyard, delivered under the name Red Square, and was most recently refitted in 2020, “when it also received the striking turquoise-blue paint job on the hull.” Speaking of that striking blue paint job, videos on Youtube, by Jared Watney – a former employee on a superyacht and a luxury content creator – show what Axioma used to look like before it got put under lock and key in Gibraltar.

According to its page on Yacht Charter Fleet , Axioma was used for cruising around the Caribbean in winter (October to April) and the Mediterranean in summer (May to September). Cruising the Med would cost between 450,000 euros (AUD $655,000) and 635,000 euros (AUD $925,000) a week (plus expenses) and cruising the Caribbean would cost between 295,000 euros (AUD $430,000) and 595,000 euros (AUD $867,000) a week (plus expenses).

RELATED: Superyacht Captain Shares ‘Unbelievable’ High Sea Stories

Watney’s videos, posted in January 2022, before Axioma got seized, show what the superyacht looked like inside, and how it would prepare for guests (including one area of the boat where everything could be moved to create a dance floor). He has also shown off the side of yachting you don’t often see, showing what happens on a superyacht when it’s in between guests, explaining why crew can actually be busier at that time than at any other.

Have a gander at the above video if you’re interested. And if you’ve got $75 million USD burning a hole in your pocket, why not take a trip to Europe on August the 23rd and take a punt at buying Axioma yourself…

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Superyacht Axioma Auctioned in Gibraltar — First Sale of an Oligarch’s Yacht Since Ukraine Invasion

The 72.5-meter yacht was impounded by the Gibraltar authorities in March after U.S. bank JP Morgan said its alleged owner Dmitry Pumpyansky had defaulted on the terms of a $20 million loan.

The Office of the Admiralty Marshal in Gibraltar said on Tuesday that “63 bids have been received” for Axioma but refused to detail the value of the bids for the yacht, which features six luxurious guest cabins, a swimming pool, a 3D cinema room, gym, jacuzzi and a fully equipped spa. The bid selection process is expected to take 10 to 14 days.

The Guardian notes that the sale of Axioma has attracted controversy because it is being sold not for the benefit of the Ukrainian people but for a US investment bank, JP Morgan, which claims Pumpyansky owes it more than €20.5m (£17m). The yacht is expected to sell for well below its assessed value.

Pumpyansky was until March of this year the owner and chairman of the steel pipe manufacturer OAO TMK, a supplier to the Russian state-owned energy company Gazprom. The UK said the billionaire, who it said had built up an estimated £1.84bn fortune, was one of the oligarchs “closest to Putin”.

The yacht, which was designed by the famed superyacht designer Alberto Pinto, was built by Dunya Yachts in Turkey in 2013. The boat, which was originally named Red Square before being renamed Axioma , was available for other millionaires to charter  for $558,500 a week.

Thanks to Alaric Bond for contributing to this post.

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