Yacht saga goes sour

A WARWICK horse stud owner who lent a mate millions to help finish off his super yacht is caught up in a civil battle after a boat broker claimed he was jibbed commission in the yacht's sale.

Superyacht Technologies is suing MacKeddie Marine Pty Ltd over claims Jack MacKeddie did not pay a broker commission after he enlisted him to sell his super yacht. Anthony Hashfield claims he is entitled to commission because the boat was sold within 12 months of the termination of their agreement to a person he introduced Mr Mackeddie too.

The Supreme Court in Brisbane heard yesterday John Barnes, a Sydney ferry owner who also owns a horse stud in Warwick, lent friend Mr MacKeddie money to finish the construction of the boat.

Barrister for Superyacht Technologies, Michael Alexander, said Mr Barnes and his company loaned funds to Mr MacKeddie, which became many millions of dollars.

The court heard that Mr MacKeddie recruited Mr Hashfield of Superyacht Technologies in June 2008 to sell the boat, which was placed on the market for about $20 million.

Barrister for Mr MacKeddie, Jeremy Sweeney, told the court Mr Hashfield claimed the agreement was he would get a 10% commission from the boat's sale.

Mr Hashfield said in cross-examination that Mr MacKeddie wished in August 2008 to engage an international marketing agency, Burgess, to promote Platinum's sale.

Mr Alexander alleges that Mr MacKeddie later asked Mr Hashfield help him organise a test ride around Hamilton Island with a potential buyer, mining heiress Angela Bennett. But Mr Sweeny said his client told Mr Hashfield the Bennetts would not buy the boat until they sold their own Outback super yacht.

Mr Hashfield said that in October 2009 Mr MacKeddie announced he was taking Platinum off the market and ending their agreement.

"He was blunt at that point and said it was not anyone else's business 'why I was taking it off the market'," he said.

But Mr Sweeny claimed Mr MacKeddie expressed his dissatisfaction with Mr Hashfield early in 2009.

Mr Sweeny said Mr Hashfield made himself "scarce" and would not reply to emails or calls, which Mr Hashfield titled ridiculous.

Mr Hashfield maintained he did not know Mr Barnes had a role in the super yacht, despite Mr Barnes coming on board the vessel with Mr Hashfield at a boat show.

The court was also read a letter from Mr Hashfield's former lawyer stating Mr Hashfield was the effective cause of sale in the transfer of shares between Mr MacKeddie and Peninsula, Mr Barnes' company. But Mr Hashfield said his lawyer misconstrued a their discussion and put it in a letter.

After Mr MacKeddie terminated his agreement with Superyacht Technologies, the Platinum was sold to the Bennetts in 2010.

The hearing continues.

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