It’s not among the 10 largest yachts in the world, in fact, it’s far from the top ten (click here). Yet Force Blue, the 63-meter yacht belonged to Flavio Briatore, is among the most famous in the world. Built-in 2002 by Royal Denship, Force Blue was bought at auction by Flavio Briatore’s friend and former partner, Bernie Ecclestone, the long-time Formula 1 “boss”, for 7.49 million euros.
Why Flavio Briatore’s Force Blue was at auction
Flavio Briatore’s life has often brought the yacht, Force Blue, to the headlines. The last time was in early January when it was announced that the yacht, under seizure by the judiciary, would be sold at auction. Flavio Briatore, former executive director of the Benetton and Renault F1 teams, was convicted for not having paid 3.6 million euros in VAT on the value of the yacht and for having evaded about 800,000 euros in fuel taxes between 2006 and 2010.
The Genoa Court of Appeal’s decision to sell the yacht was taken because of the difficulty in meeting maintenance costs and the risk that forced inactivity could cause its commercial value to decline. The auction, with a starting price of 7 million euros, took place on January 27 and the winner was Bernie Ecclestone, former owner of Formula 1. He put a relatively low figure on the plate: 7.49 million euros against the 20 million estimated value.
The sale was made before the judgment of the Supreme Court, initially expected in early February, which could have annulled the seizure of Force Blue. However, this judgment has been postponed to June 9, 2021.
The judges, in auctioning the boat, applied the rule that provides for “destination to the sale of movable property subject to seizure if the same cannot be administered without danger of deterioration or significant diseconomies“.