Cape Town - A controversial neglected, partially rebuilt superyacht, which has been at the centre of a long-running legal dispute while moored in Cape Town, will be sold at auction to recover more than R14 million as ordered by the Western Cape High Court in a judicial arrest case.
The yacht, now named the Bella T, was previously known as Summit One and Lac III.
The Bella T was indicted after it was caught up in a legal dispute between Rapaport Flagship Ltd, the applicant in the court matter and Europa Shipping Capital SA, the second respondent.
Bella T was listed as the first respondent. Rapaport has a claim against the vessel amounting to €835 000 or R14.6m.
Western Cape High Court Judge Nolundi Nyati ordered in November last year that the be sold by public auction under the auspices of Cape Town firm Solution Strategists acting on behalf of the court.
The auction documents describe the yacht as “a vessel in an incomplete state stripped back to bare steel, and four containers of equipment, which include her engine and mechanical works, as well as her interior fittings”.
Included in the auction documents is a report that states the vessel to be in good condition despite years of neglect.
The conditions of sale say: “Bidding shall be in US dollars, unless another currency is declared by the auctioneer prior to the commencement of bidding.”
Solution Strategists managing director Ariella Kuper said the has been in Cape Town since the early 2000s. It was originally built in 1977 for the US millionaire philanthropist and businessman Roy Carver who died in 1981.
Carver was chairperson and founder of Bandag Inc, which makes a tyre-retreading material and has global operations in 90 countries.
According to his obituary in the New York Times: “In 1973, Carver’s wealth was estimated to range from $200m to $300m. However, his wealth was also shrouded in intrigue.”
After Carver’s death, the yacht, now renamed the Lac III, was sold to the Sultan of Sabah, a territory in North Borneo whose sovereignty has been disputed by Malaysia and the Philippines.
The Sultan renamed the yacht Puteri Sabah II before it was passed on to another Malaysian owner as Puteri Sipadan.
By 1999, the yacht was back on the market for $1.1m and was bought by another US businessman who renamed the yacht and brought it to Cape Town for an extensive refit.