Wine mogul Jim Delegat is fighting to gain more than $1 million from the Auckland shipbuilder that went out of business three months after he commissioned plans for a 70-foot yacht.
Delegat, worth an estimated $150 million, is awaiting the decision of a High Court judgement that will determine whether the funds can be salvaged from Salthouse Marine Limited. He ordered the Salthouse 68 motor yacht in late 2009 when he flew to Perth, where Australian millionaire and former SML director Chris Norman convinced him to buy it. If Delegat’s yacht was anything like its predecessors, it would have been complete with luxury leather furnishings, flatpanel televisions throughout, accommodations for up to eight people and maximum speeds of up to 30 knots.
When Norman pulled the plug on the 27-year-old shipbuilding company, he put 51 people out of work and left a debt up to $2.5 million. He is now being sued by Delegat’s business trust and an SML subsidiary.
Reports prove that one of the subsidiaries of the SML group borrowed Delegat’s money for a $3.5 million luxury boat Norman’s company, Yacht West, and that cash was used to compete a yacht named Summersalt for a previous customer. One report even admitted that Delegat was “totally unaware” of how his money was being used.
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