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Property pair worth 750m despite slump

CANDY Brothers Nick and Christian, who build ultra-luxury apartments for the elite, are still worth a combined &pound;750m despite the ailing property market, the head of their corporate finance group said yesterday.<br /><br />It had been thought that the pair&rsquo;s wealth would have taken a hit in the recession as the kind of ultra-high specification properties they specialise in have tumbled in value.<br /><br />But unaudited reports from the Candys&rsquo; Guernsey-based CPC company &ndash; which Christian founded in 2004 &ndash; show their debts at &pound;138m, and their net worth at about &pound;750m.<br /><br />The net worth figure does not include a potential &pound;550m windfall if the two manage to sell off the rest of the apartments in their One Hyde Park project, which is opposite Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge.<br /><br />The accounts show that the brothers had &pound;167m in cash on 31 May, with &pound;68m invested in personal bank accounts. The remainder is invested in private companies.<br /><br />The brothers built up their successful business during the property boom that occurred between 2001 and 2008. Prices rose from around &pound;2,000 per square foot in 2001 to &pound;6,000 in 2008.<br /><br />They manage to command top prices with luxury elements such as marble work surfaces, floor to ceiling fridges, panic rooms, bulletproof windows and private lifts.<br /><br />At the time of the crash in 2008, 35-year-old Chris and 36-year-old Nick had 20 acres of prime real estate in central London.<br /><br />Most was based in Westminster, some just north of Oxford Street. They also owned the Grosvenor Waterside complex in Chelsea.<br /><br />The two started to invest in luxury property in the late 1990s and have worked with architects including Richard Meier, Lord Richard Rogers and Lord Norman Foster.<br /><br />The pair own five homes in Monaco and London, which are worth some &pound;324 according to their corporate finance chief Steven Smith.<br /><br />The pair are also understood to own two yachts, a helicopter, two Maybachs, two Rolls-Royces, two Bentleys and two Ferraris.