Having been detained in the United States since 2018, the 65m Galactica Star is being offered for sale in a judicial 45-day sealed bid arrangement, with bidding opened on 4 April, 2019 and to be closed on 19 May, 2019. The Heesen-built motoryacht has been caught up in a legal dispute with the US and Nigerian governments following allegations that her owner purchased the vessel using misdirected profits from the sale of oil in Nigeria. SuperyachtNews.com covered the story in a previous article here.
A court document filed on 6 March, 2019 in a United States District Court, outlines the request made by the US government, together with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the authorisation for the interlocutory sale of the vessel. The background of how the yacht came into the custody of the US authorities is referenced in the document, stating that, on 14 July, 2017, the government filed a civil forfeiture action seeking to forfeit several assets, including Galactica Star. On December 11, 2017, the Federal Republic of Nigeria filed a claim on the Galactica Star, asserting that the asset is the proceeds of embezzlement of Nigerian treasury funds.
The US government took physical custody of the yacht in June 2018 and has since been maintaining it at the government’s expense, spending roughly US$170,000 per month to maintain this asset, hence the urgency at which the sales process was requested to commence. Fraser Yachts has been selected to assist with the announcement and publicising of the open bidding process and the solicitation of bids from qualified buyers, with a mutually agreed minimum reserve price of US$42,000,000.00.
Galactica Star is built for long-range cruising, with a 4,200 nautical mile range at 14 knots and a fast cruise speed in the range of 28 knots. The custom-built interior, designed by Bannenberg and Rowell, accommodates 12 guests in six staterooms. The sleek exterior was styled by Omega Yachts and offers expansive deck spaces and an air-conditioned beach club with drop-down balconies.
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