Farkhad Akhmedov wins $436m superyacht in divorce fight
March 29, 2019 12:57 pm
The superyacht Luna, previously owned by Roman Abramovich, had been impounded in Dubai [Source: BBC]
A Russian businessman has won back his $436m (£330m) superyacht, the latest development in his long-running divorce proceedings.
Farkhad Akhmedov announced that a Dubai appeals court had overruled an earlier decision to seize the ship from him.
A UK court had previously ordered the former oil and gas trader to pay his wife $600m in a divorce settlement.
But the court ruled that decision was unenforceable in Dubai and the seizure of the superyacht should be cancelled.
“Mr Akhmedov is delighted but not surprised by today’s court decision in favour of the Akhmedov family trust,” a spokesman for the oligarch said. The statement was reported in Gulf News.
The spokesman said Mr Akhmedov’s ex-wife’s attempts to seize his assets were “as misguided as the original English High Court” ruling.
But lawyers for his former wife, Tatiana Ahkmedova, reportedly called the ruling “procedural”.
“Akhmedova will simply continue to pursue her claims in the Dubai Courts,” a statement seen by Reuters says, adding that she “successfully obtained additional orders in the English Court yesterday” to secure the vessel.
Ex-wife gets £453m divorce payout
The divorce settlement in 2017 is thought to be one of the biggest in UK history.
Mr Akhmedov has insisted he and Tatiana divorced in Russia in 2000.
Justice Haddon-Cave, however, said he could find no evidence of this, concluding the original divorce documents were “forged”.
The judge ordered that Mr Akhmedov’s assets be frozen around the world to ensure his former wife could recover the money she was due.
But the Dubai Court of Appeal has now ruled it was wrong to impound the superyacht Luna, which previously belonged to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
It also said Ms Akhmedova must pay all of her former husband’s legal costs.
Both Mr Akhmedov and his ex-wife are Russian citizens, although she has a permanent right to remain in the UK.
The US Treasury lists Mr Akhmedov as an oligarch, someone they say has a net worth of $1bn or more, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Forbes magazine estimates his current wealth at $1.4bn.