Thursday, December 28, 2017

Clive Palmer’s ‘$40m’ private jet sold for less than $7m

The “$40 million” private jet seized by liquidators from embattled businessman Clive Palmer is about to be sold, but it's true value has revealed it as “the cheapest of its kind on the market in the world”.

The 14-passenger seat Global Express, bought second-hand by the mogul in 2012, had been rumoured to be worth $40 million, and was used by Mr Palmer to jet across the country in a show of his wealth.

But The Courier-Mail can confirm the plane is under contract negotiations for sale to an international buyer for about $6.95 million, having sat on the market for 20 months.

Liquidator FTI Consulting seized the plane from Palmer Aviation after the company fell into administration, and put the plane, the company’s sole asset, up for sale in April last year.

While initially moved from Brisbane to Sydney, it was later relocated to the US, where there is a bigger market for such luxury items.

Even with a sale price at just under $7 million, the buyer is expected to be a high-net-worth businessperson, as running a private jet of its size can cost about $3 million a year.

Brisbane-based corporate aviation and charter management company Avcair owner Michael Cooke said he had recently undertaken a report into the international Global Express market.

“It was the cheapest Global Express on the market in the world. It is also the oldest,” he said.

“A really good-pedigree aircraft, maintained well, with good equipment, they will not stay on the market too long.

“Anything that takes this long to sell well have hairs on it.”

Mr. Cooke, whose company deals with national and international clients including celebrities, said the plane being emblazoned with the logo and colours of Mr Palmer’s now-defunct political party could impact the sale.

“It’s ageing, hideous paint skin. Anyone who buys it has to repaint it, which can cost half a millions bucks,” he said.

The Global Express is marketed as having been impeccably maintained and having “tastefully appointed coloring throughout the cabin, including a cream-colour headliner, high-gloss timber cabinetry and trim, and beige elegantly patterned carpeting”.

Mr. Palmer declined to comment.

He famously used his jet in the lead-up to the 2013 federal election, decking it out in Palmer United Party colours and logo.

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