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.

Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
Life and Style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
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

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Technical Project Manager - Software and Infrastructure - Government Experience

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...

Secondary teachers needed for supply roles in Sudbury

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

Head of Technology

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Technology needed for a Outsta...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits