Russian billionaire owner sues paint company for more than $120 million

The $350 million megayacht docked in Auckland's Westhaven Marina is embroiled in a $100 million-plus legal stoush over a botched paint job.

Russian billionaire Andrey Melnichenko has reportedly sued Dulux for more than $120 million after "lines and sags" appeared in the paint job of his megayacht, A.

The Daily Mail reported that the chemical tycoon, who is worth more than $17.5 billion, filed his claim in a New Jersey court.

He is arguing that the paint company's blunder forced him to redecorate the 119m luxury yacht - which features a stairwell coated with silver leaf and $70,000 hand-carved banisters, and patented bath taps worth $45,000.


Asia Pacific Superyachts NZ has been carrying out maintenance and refit work on the vessel since last month, but it was unclear if that work was related to the paint job.

Melnichenko's claim against Akzo Nobel, which owns Dulux, includes $29 million to repair the paint and a monthly payment of $4.8 million to cover 18 months of hirage of a replacement boat while his is out of action. Akzo is not related to Dulux brands sold in New Zealand.

According to the British tabloid, court papers stated: "In addition to attorneys' fees and costs, these damages represent over US$100 million in ascertainable losses on the part of the plaintiff."

Problems began to appear when the boat, named after Mr Melnichenko's model wife Aleksandra, was almost finished being painted.

"The paint appeared to be 'running' and the coats began separating from each other, causing 'lines and sags'," the Daily Mail reported.

"The vessel was repainted at Akzo Nobel's own cost, but the second coat was 'unsatisfactory' and lawyers say a new coat will now take 18 months."

The couple's floating paradise has become a popular attraction at the waterfront. The submarine-styled craft features many mirrored rooms, and one guest suite lined with white stingray skins.

Megayacht A

• The megayacht A is one of the biggest to berth in NZ, with an interior almost 15 times that of an average house.

• The vessel is owned by Russian Andrey Melnichenko, who has a fortune estimated at $17.5 billion.

• Designed by Philippe Starck, the 119m vessel features mirrored rooms and a guest suite lined with white stingray skins.

• A is fitted with numerous security cameras with motion detection systems.

• Its 240sq m master suite incorporates bomb-proof glass and is opened only by a fingerprint pad.