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Privilege Yacht's CEO arrested, yard put up for sealed bid auction

Magomed Khamatkhanov
April 9, 2018

The Privilege Yachts shipyard encompasses 12 hectares of land granted by the Port of Civitavecchia, Italy. Completed in 2008, facility has been designed and purpose-built to facilitate the complete design, build and outfitting of large yachts and has the capacity to build up to 3 vessels up to 210 meters in length at one time. Privilege Yachts shouldn't be confused with the French yard Privilege Marine, the builder of catamarans.

In 2015, Mario La Via, CEO of Privilege Yachts, was house arrested, as Italian yard's collapse was investigating. Financial director Antonio Battista was also arrested. The charges were fraudulent bankruptcy filings, tax crimes, and violating anti-mafia legislation. Mario La Via, 76, didn't mention that the company’s bankrupt when applying for a €100 million bank loan to help fund the construction of Privilege One.

The men are accused of using company owned funds to acquire luxury cars for a total of €320,000, including a Maserati and a Ferrari. Real estate totalling €25 million also was arrested, and it is claimed that Privilege Yachts paid for the rent on the house of the president of the Civitavecchia port authority, which granted the land of 12 hectares to the yard.

Now, after 18 months of the arrest, the main facility of currently defunct Italian shipyard Privilege Yachts has been put up for sealed bid auction. There were another auction in 2015, which failed. The court has set a starting price of €9,400,000, including 11 buildings on 12 hectares, powered with solar panels (total coverage area of 2,45 hectares). Auction deadline is April 19.

The part-build hull of the 127-metre motor yacht Project P430, remains at the yard, as well as 126-metre part-build Privilege One. In 2014 Privilege One was listed for sale through Bluewater for €399,000,000.