Russian tycoon sues Dulux makers over paint job

Updated: 

The yacht

When Andrey Melnichenko - a Russian chemicals billionaire - splashed out on a new coat of paint for his £200 million yacht, he expected the result to draw even more attention to his extravagant boat. Unfortunately the only attention it drew was from Melnichenko himself - who was decidedly unimpressed with the finish.

In fact, he's so unimpressed that he is suing the paint firm's parent company, Akzo Nobel for £62 million.


The boat is truly stunning. The interior was designed by Philippe Starck, and among the features are a glass-bottomed swimming pool on deck - which forms the roof of the ballroom. No expense has been spared to bring the finest of luxury living on the high seas. The Telegraph reported that it all costs £12 million a year to maintain, and that it was when maintenance was carried out to the exterior paintwork that problems emerged.

The problem

The law suit, filed in a New Jersey Court, outlines the problem. The Daily Mail reported that when the first coat of paint was put on the boat it seemed to be running and the coats started separating from one another - causing 'lines and sags'. The end result was described as 'cloudy' rather than super-shiny.

The company made an effort to put things right - and has already repainted the boat at its own cost, but Melnichenko remains unimpressed with the finish, and has decided to take the legal route.

He is suing for this impressive sum, because it doesn't just cover the cost of repainting the entire mega-yacht all over again, it includes the rental of an alternative for the 18 months it's out of service and all his costs and fees.

Unusual cases

It's going to make for an interesting case, but it's not the most unusual law suit launched by a billionaire.

In 2009 an Australian billionaire tried and failed to sue a casino for the millions of dollars he lost there. In one instance he lost $2 million in 43 minutes.

In China at the moment a billionaire is being sued by his 9-year-old son, for child support - and to "frequently come home and take care" of him. It's the first time the Chinese courts have seen a case like this brought by a child.

But perhaps the most unusual was when Prince Alwaleed bin Talal launched a defamation suit against Forbes magazine in June, for underestimating his wealth in its annual list of billionaires. They said he was worth $20 billion - and he says he's worth $29.6 billion.

Forbes rich list: the world's top ten billionaires

Forbes rich list: the world's top ten billionaires