French investment manager Meeschaert said on Saturday it had applied for the seizure of a yacht owned by a Bernard Madoff company as part of a battle to claw back client losses from the jailed fraudster.

Meeschaert pledged in February to return losses to clients who bought shares in the Luxalpha fund of Swiss bank UBS and has filed suit against the bank's Luxembourg unit for compensation.

The firm said it had filed a request with authorities in the south of France to seize the yacht, Bull, which it said was moored in Cap d'Antibes on the French Riviera and owned by a Madoff company registered in the Cayman Islands.

We decided to act quickly to prevent the yacht leaving French waters, chairman Cedric Meeschaert said in a statement.

He said the action would not affect the suit filed in Luxembourg or forthcoming legal action against Ernst and Young, the auditors of the Luxalpha fund.

(Writing by James Mackenzie; editing by Ron Askew)