'Lady Ghislaine' sold for close to asking price

THE Lady Ghislaine, the yacht on which Robert Maxwell was last seen alive, has been sold to a US buyer for a price close to the dollars 19.75m ( pounds 10.3m) being asked by the administrators of his private companies.

The agent for the sale, Camper & Nicholsons, yachtbroker, has refused to reveal the purchaser because of a confidentiality clause in the contract. However, sources in the industry said the buyer was American and that Camper had been quite pleased with the price obtained.

The head of the broker's London office, Nicholas Baker, said there had been quite a lot of interest in the yacht, which was named after Maxwell's youngest daughter. Mr Baker said more than 20 serious buyers viewed the boat. 'The notoriety did not add or subtract to the market value.'

In Cowes last week a picture of the Lady Ghislaine, which is 180 feet long and has a gymnasium and a discotheque, was spotted in the window of a rival shipbroker, Wallace Clarke, with the legend: 'One owner. dollars 19.75m. Guard rail mended.' Camper asked Wallace to take down the notice.

The adminstrator, Arthur Andersen, is also understood to have sold one of Maxwell's two Gulfstream jets, a 1990 Gulfstream IV, for dollars 19m, dollars 3.85m less than the asking price. The other jet, a 1976 Gulfstream II, is thought to be unsaleable.

(Photograph omitted)