- Business - Ukraine to auction Royal Romance

By Conor Feasey

Ukraine to auction Royal Romance

Applications for potential global bidding organisers are currently being accepted, with auction proceeds to aid the nation’s war effort against Russia…

The Ukrainian Government has confirmed it will sell the seized Royal Romance via auction. The move marks the first time in the nation’s history that Ukraine’s Asset Recovery and Management Agency (ARMA) has issued a tender for arrested assets seized abroad. The yacht allegedly belonged to sanctioned Ukrainian Viktor Medvedchuk, a lawyer dubbed as a Russian “collaborator” by government authorities

“On March 20, 2024, a meeting of the Commission on the conduct of competitive selection of legal entities carrying out the realisation of arrested assets was held, concerning the collaborator yacht Royal Romance,” says the Head of ARMA, Olena Duma. “We need to intensify work on other assets involved in criminal proceedings and located abroad, including those in Romania.”

The ownership status of Royal Romance was transferred to the Ukrainian government earlier this year.

Now, documents from potential global bidding organisers are currently being accepted in a “competition’’ until April 18th, 2024. Only legal entities, both residents and non-residents, can participate. However, the main condition for participation in the competition is compliance with the requirements approved by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

The requirements are to not be under sanctions and not to have sanctioned persons in the list of owners or ultimate beneficiaries; not to have representatives of the aggressor countries (Russia, the Republic of Belarus) among the ultimate beneficiaries of the company's founders; have at least three years of experience in organising the international sale of assets such as yachts at auction; and have an impeccable business reputation.

“Based on the results of the selection, the winner of the competition will organise and conduct a public sale of this valuable asset, and the proceeds will be used to support Ukraine's defence capability,’’ says Grigol Katamadze, the Competition Commission Chairman.

This competition became possible due to the ruling of the Lychakiv District Court of Lviv on 11th of April 2022, the decision of the District Court of Split of the Republic of Croatia 25th of May 2022 and the inspection of the asset carried out on 29th of February earlier this year 2024, with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.

Katamadze also notes that Duma’s proactive role in the changes made to government regulations, which now means ARMA now has the legal authority to sell assets that have been confiscated outside the country's borders. The rules initiated by ARMA made it possible to start the sale of Royal Romance,

“It is also important that ARMA has officially received documents from the law enforcement and judicial authorities of Croatia confirming the absence of any other encumbrances, restrictions or civil law agreements that could prevent ARMA from selling the asset,” says Stanislav Petrov, another member of the Commission. “This is the first but not the last seized asset that will serve and contribute to the benefit of Ukraine.”

The broker of the auction will be officially announced on April 23rd, 2024.

FEADSHIP 2014 2015 Delivered
92.50m 14.30m 3.85m 2933

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