Jewish lobby threatens Candy brothers' US deal

They are the feted brothers of London's luxury property market whose services are courted by film stars and Russian oligarchs alike. In just 12 years, the Candy brothers' brand of bespoke opulence for the super rich has brought them wealth and kudos in Britain. But in striving to secure a place at the top table among the movers and shakers of California, the brothers, both in their 30s, are facing a serious problem.

Christian and Nick Candy, who with a £6,000 loan from their grandmother built a property design business worth an estimated £9bn, are now trying to allay the fears of members of the influential Jewish community in Beverly Hills over their associations with Middle Eastern financial backers.

At the heart of the controversy is a prime eight-acre £250m development in Beverly Hills, California, which the brothers are using as a first foothold in Hollywood's high-end property market.

According to the influential Beverly Hills Blog, local councillors, egged on by angry Jewish residents, have challenged the brothers to declare their links with the wealthy Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani, the Prime Minister of Qatar and part owner of a Middle Eastern newspaper that the Californians accuse of being anti-Semitic and anti-American. The sheikh and the Qatari government have bankrolled a number of the brothers' developments in London, including the £900m acquisition of the Chelsea Barracks.

While the brothers' Middle Eastern links are of little concern in London, any suggestion that the sheikh is connected to 9900 Wilshire, the name given to the Candy brothers' LA development, is a different matter. The Beverly Hills Jewish community is sensitive about doing business with some Middle Eastern states and investors. J A Mirisch, the Hollywood film distributor behind the Beverly Hills Blog, says: "Are we really so desperate that we need to welcome into our community people who incite to further hatred against Jews and Americans, or, for that matter, people who see fit do business with such anti-Semites and America-haters?"

The brothers are well aware of the potential damage to their American dream and have tried to kill off the rumours. In March, Chris Candy, the older and more bullish of the brothers, flew to Los Angeles to try to reassure residents of the source of the investment for the luxury apartments. He made a similiar visit last year.

It was reported that tJimmy Delshad, who was Beverly Hills mayor, demanded to know who was really behind the project. Mr Candy, 34, told the city council there was no Qatari involvement and the only financiers for 9900 were the Candys' own Guernsey-based private-equity company, CPC Investments, and the Kaupthing Bank from Iceland.

Nick Candy said the project had caused them some problems but he claimed Mr Delshad was a friend: "We sent 9,000 letters to the people of Beverly Hills and have had 18 meetings with the planners. And I can tell you 200 per cent that Sheikh Hamad is not involved in this project. But having said that I think people can be very narrow-minded on this. I know [the sheikh] is a friend of America who is close to the American President and Arnold Schwarzenegger [the Governor of California]. The US Air Force even has a base in Qatar. We love the people of Beverly Hills but I think it's fair to say that this has been a lot harder than we thought."

Property ladder

1995 – At university, bought flat in Earls Court for £122,000 with £6,000 loan from grandmother. Sold within two years for a £50,000 profit.

1999 – Candy & Candy founded, after many successful sales. Now has more than 120 employees worldwide.

2005 – Met new backers in the Middle East paving the way for more expensive property buys.

2006 – Bought Kensington Palace and Kensington Park hotel site for £69m. Sold within two years to a Middle Eastern consortium for £320m.

2007 – Purchased 12.8 acre Chelsea Barracks for £959m to develop flats.

2010 – Estimated completion for 86 penthouses at One Hyde Park, London.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value

Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas