Property tycoon Nick Candy said he would have had no problem making former university friend Mark Holyoake “bankrupt” in an attempt to recover a £12 million loan.
In a witness statement filed to the High Court, Candy wrote in an email to his brother Christian: “I am beyond annoyed and disappointed. I have no issue now with making him bankrupt if need be. Do whatever needs to be done.”
Nick and Christian Candy are fighting a £132 million legal battle against Holyoake, who claims the brothers used extortion, and blackmail to repay a £12 million loan. They deny the claims.
The trial has exposed the extent to which Nick Candy fell out with Holyoake, whom he met and befriended at the University of Reading. The pair lost touch for a decade before rekindling the friendship. Nick Candy was then instrumental in securing the £12 million loan from Christian Candy’s company, CPC Group.
But the deal turned sour. In his witness statement, Candy relayed emails from 2012 in which he described Holyoake as a “serial fraudster.” He particularly called attention to the collapse of British Seafood in 2010, when then-chief executive Holyoake was investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.
Candy referenced the involvement of Nick Leslau, another property tycoon, and private equity group 3i in British Seafood. He said that Leslau had planned to sue Holyoake for £3 million, but did not pursue the claim.
“He conned 3i out of £75 million and Nick Leslau lost a lot of money,” Candy wrote in the email, according to his statement.
Candy added in the email that his brother and CPC Group ought to consider “Getting a private investigation company involved with us to track [Holyoake’s] cash.”
And he suggested the brothers should try and “stop” Mark Holyoake’s then-pregnant wife, Emma Holyoake, from moving funds around. Emma Holyoake alleged to the High Court earlier in the trial that she had been indirectly threatened by Christian Candy while pregnant.
“His wife is in [Hong Kong] when 6 months pregnant — I am sure she is moving Trust money around — can we stop this,” Candys’ email said.
Under cross-examination by Holyoake’s barrister, Roger Stewart QC, Candy denied making threats against the family.
The case continues.