The London-based owners of the former Robinsons-May department store on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills said Thursday that they had taken a key step to stabilize financial issues threatening their planned $1-billion development at the site.
One of Nicholas and Christian Candy's partners in the project, Kaupthing Bank of Iceland, failed this month in the global credit crisis and it appeared that the Candys might lose control of the property at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. -- where they hope to build a condominium, hotel and retail project.
Kaupthing Bank, now nationalized by Iceland, has agreed to transfer its ownership stake in the property to Christian Candy's CPC Group, pending the approval of other lenders involved in the Beverly Hills project. As part of the deal, CPC Group has transferred its equity in a London development called NoHo Square to Kaupthing.
The Candys and London restaurateur Richard Caring now control the Beverly Hills property. Thursday's agreement may also help the Candys in negotiations over their default on a $365-million short-term loan that they used in their $500-million purchase of the property in 2007.