Property developer Nick Candy sues Robert Bonnier and Dutch firm Aaqua for alleged fraud

Nick Candy, a property developer, has sought a worldwide asset block against a former business partner in fraud proceedings at the High Court.

The investor, 49, is suing Robert Bonnier for fraud. He was a former multi-millionaire dot-com investor and controls a tech company.

Mr Bonnier is Aaqua’s largest investor. This Dutch social media company was founded by Mr Candy last year.

Mr Candy claims he was misled by Aaqua’s prospects and has demanded that its assets and those of Mr Bonnier have been frozen.

The company and Mr Bonnier denied the claims.

The High Court granted the freeze but directed Mr Candy to “personally satisfy” the guarantee of up to PS10m to be able to apply it. The High Court stated that Mr Candy could be held responsible for any damages if the asset freeze caused Mr Bonnier or Aaqua wrongly.

Mr Candy’s company has until Monday at 4 pm to pay the money. If it doesn’t, the freeze may be lifted.

Aaqua purchased a £6.8m share in Audioboom, an AIM-listed podcasting company in which Mr Candy is the second-largest investor. Mr Candy also received shares in Mr Bonnier’s company.

Last year, Mr Bonnier submitted a £188m bid to Audioboom and was supported by Mr Candy. However, Audioboom’s board rejected it. After a 44pc decline in market value this year, the market valuation now stands at £131m.

A spokesperson for Mr Bonnier stated that the asset freeze was meant to do maximum damage to Aaqua and cause hardship to its employees.

According to the spokesman, Mr Candy’s contract with him “perfectly stated” that it had made an investment based on its own due diligence. The case continues.

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