Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 27 May 2019

Property tycoon in legal battle over £160 million London penthouse

Property tycoon Nick Candy faces potential £1.5 billion high court battle over penthouse

The penthouse is situated in Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park. REX/Shutterstock
The penthouse is situated in Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park. REX/Shutterstock

Property tycoon Nick Candy is fighting a £1.5 billion legal claim over his £160 million penthouse, thought to be the most expensive property in the UK, over a claim both he and the former prime minister of Qatar “sabotaged” a deal to sell the property.

Mr Candy denies the allegations and rejects the claim for financial loss, stating there was never any deal on the table and no potential buyer was ever shown the apartment.

Michael Brown claims he had been negotiating the £175 million purchase of Mr Candy’s luxury two-storey penthouse at One Hyde Park, the most expensive flat in Britain, on behalf of a member of the Saudi royal family in July 2016.

In papers submitted to the British courts, the would-be middleman claims Mr Candy operated a secret agenda and the behaviour of the owner and his client caused the sale to fall through, causing a “great loss of opportunity” and “substantial financial loss” to Mr Brown.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabar Al Thani, former Qatari prime minister and a member of the Qatari royal family, owns two flats in the building and is accused of taking part in “imbecilic behaviour” to help the sale fall through.

While Sheikh Hamad stepped down as Qatar prime minister in 2013, he has continued to represent the country’s substantial financial interests in London. In addition to the two flats in One Hyde Park and nearby Grade II listed property mansion off Belgrave Square that has been dubbed Britain’s most expensive private home. The former prime minister’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Forbes, which includes 3% of Deutsche Bank, his biggest publicly-traded holding, and stakes in luxury British properties including Harrods, the Shard, Chelsea Barracks, Canary Wharf, the London Stock Exchange; the Berkeley and the Connaught Hotels.

The developer of the luxury tower block is a joint venture between CPC Group and Waterknights, the private company owned by the former Qatari PM.

Candy Capital, run by Nick Candy, were the interior designers and development managers.

Mr Brown claims he was negotiating at the same time that Mr Candy, 46, and his younger brother Christian Candy were fighting their successful £132 million legal battle against Mark Holyoake, their former business associate.

“Mr Brown is claiming financial loss for the sale of a penthouse at One Hyde Park that never took place, to a potential purchaser he claimed to have (who may or may not have existed), and who never visited One Hyde Park or the penthouse in question,” a spokesperson for Mr Candy told The National.

She added that Mr Candy plans to sue Mr Brown for all legal costs associated with defending this claim, which are “currently in excess of £20,000”. The other Defendants will also have their own separate legal fees.

The hearing is will take place at the High Court on May 22.

Mr Candy previously lived in the property situated in Knightsbridge, just south of Hyde Park, London, with popstar wife Holly Valance. He then moved to a nearby £75m mansion in Chelsea.

In October 2018, the property developer had taken out an £80m mortgage with Credit Suisse on the Hyde Park penthouse, which is one of 86 apartments in the block.

The apartment is believed to have skyline views of London, with bulletproof glass, heated marble floors, a pedicure room and two wine cellars.

The bloc has a 21-metre swimming pool, a cinema, saunas and room service through a tunnel from the Mandarin Oriental hotel next door.

Updated: April 25, 2019 07:35 PM