Nick Candy seeks to freeze former partner’s assets in dispute over Audioboom investment

British property tycoon told he must pay £10 million by 4pm on Monday

Nicholas 'Nick' Candy, co-founder of Candy and Candy Ltd., reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014. Home sales in London's priciest neighborhoods climbed 37 percent last year as a rise in the number of U.K.-based buyers made up for dwindling investment from Europe, according to Knight Frank LLP. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Nick Candy
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A British court has ruled that billionaire Nick Candy must pay £10 million ($11.8m) to enforce a worldwide asset freeze against a former business partner he has accused of fraud.

Mr Candy, 49, has fallen out with technology millionaire Robert Bonnier over a deal involving Audioboom, a popular podcasting platform listed on the UK's AIM stock market.

Lawyers for Mr Candy have sought damages against Mr Bonnier over alleged fraud in a business deal, arguing that assets belonging to him should be frozen.

The High Court in London has temporarily ruled in favour of Mr Candy, while ordering him to “personally satisfy” a guarantee of up to £10m for the freeze to be imposed.

The property tycoon has until 4pm on Monday to pay the money, or the asset freeze could be quashed.

The court also ruled that Mr Candy would be personally responsible for compensation should the freeze wrongly cause any loss to Mr Bonnier or his company.

Mr Bonnier's company Aaqua took a £6.8m stake in Audioboom in 2021. In return, Mr Candy, who is Audioboom's second-largest shareholder, received shares in Mr Bonnier’s company.

Mr Candy claims that he was misled about the prospects of Aaqua before he invested in the company last year.

Mr Bonnier made a £188m bid for Audioboom last year and received the support of Mr Candy. However, that bid was ultimately rejected by the board of Audioboom.

Since then, Audioboom's value has fallen to £131m, a drop of 44 per cent from its previous high.

A spokesman for Mr Bonnier told the The Telegraph that the asset freeze was an attempt to cause “maximum damage to Aaqua’s business and hardship to its employees”.

The contract also “perfectly clearly stated” to Mr Candy that its investment relied on its own due diligence.

Updated: August 22, 2022, 12:18 PM