Multi-millionaire property developer Christian Candy has sold a three-storey penthouse in New York for $32.7 million (£24.6 million) – almost half the original asking price.
The 6,319 sq ft penthouse, which is above the Plaza Hotel, was sold for $26.3 million less than the amount Candy first listed the apartment for in 2013, according to research by the Guardian.
Candy bought the penthouse, which spans floors 19 to 21 of the hotel, from Andrei Vavilov, a former Russian finance minister and hedge fund manager, for $26 million in 2012.
Vavilov had sued the penthouse’s developer, claiming that what was sold to him as the “epitome of luxury” was little more than an “attic-like space”.
Candy hoped his makeover skills would attract a super-rich buyer to spend $59 million when he first listed it in 2013.
At the time, the brochure for the four-bedroom property with five bathrooms said: “The penthouse is being delivered with custom furnishings personally selected by world renowned design firm Candy & Candy. They have created a contemporary New York loft-style residence in an uptown setting.”
Candy reduced the price to $49.9 million in 2015.
Previous Guardian research suggested Candy had sold, mortgaged or listed for sale eight homes and developments, including a villa on the French Riviera and a seven-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in London with a swimming pool and staff quarters.
It amounted to the sale or remortgage of more than £300 million of assets in one year.
The sale of the Plaza penthouse comes shortly before a high court judge is expected to rule on the Candy brothers’ bitter legal dispute with their former friend and businessman Mark Holyoake, who is suing them for £132 million in damages after they fell out over a loan.
The case alleges Nick Candy, who is married to actress Holly Valance, warned the debt could be sold to Russians who “would not think twice” about using violence.
But at the High Court Tim Lord QC accused Holyoake of “massaging the figures” when securing the loan in October 2011 from the Candys, concealing the true state of his own finances.
The Candys’ recent property disposals have prompted legal letters from Holyoake.
His solicitors wrote to the brothers in July threatening to ask for a court ruling to freeze their assets, which would prevent the brothers from making any further disposals. Holyoake has yet to take any such action.
The Candys have dismissed Holyoake’s concerns as misplaced and said their remaining assets would, after the disposals, be sufficient to cover any penalty were Holyoake to succeed.
DealMakerz thinks the timing of the sale is interesting given the potential for Holyoake to ask for an asset freeze.
Recently, it was reported that the brothers decided to pull the plug on some properties because of too many competing developments and an oil price slump, which has curbed interest from foreign buyers.
But it could simply be a rebalancing exercise, reflecting the duo’s unease about the uncertain UK and US political and economic environments.
The brothers could certainly do with keeping a low profile for a while. Both of them are racking up enemies, with Nick recently sparking a row with his Chelsea neighbours after building giant trees around his mansion to stop people spying on his wife.
Nick has admitted that people call him Ricky Butcher, the EastEnders character, behind his back.