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?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own