Billionaire Noam Gottesman Sued Over Manhattan Property Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Toms Capital LLC and founder Noam Gottesman were sued for $34 million by a real estate investor who claims the billionaire undermined their joint plans to redevelop a Manhattan warehouse to protect his own neighboring townhouse.

Billionaire Noam Gottesman Sued Over Manhattan Property Deal

Harch Group principal Harry Jeremias claims that Gottesman partnered with him to acquire and redevelop the property, in the historic Meatpacking District, but that once Gottesman gained control over the project he froze out Jeremias while inducing Jeremias’s protege to help quash the plans.

“The impunity with which Gottesman has deceived his business partner ends today,” attorneys for Jeremias said in a complaint filed Friday in New York state court claiming the hedge fund chief “duplicitously torpedoed” the venture.

“We believe the suit is completely without merit and it’s going to be vigorously defended,” said Alejandro San Miguel, partner and general counsel for Toms Capital.

Jeremias spotted the warehouse in late 2014, put down a $1 million deposit on its $71 million purchase price and began searching for backers, a quest that ultimately led him to Gottesman, according to the complaint. Toms Capital is in a building astride the High Line park on Manhattan’s west side, five blocks north of the property at the heart of their dispute, which is at at 771 Washington St. -- and Gottesman’s home is right next door to the warehouse.

Recognizing that potential conflict of interest, Jeremias claims, he negotiated terms that -- while surrendering control over the project -- would protect him from a failure by his partner to maximize its multi-use development potential. But their joint venture agreement was never signed, according to the complaint.

Gottesman, 57, sold the building to investor David Winter for $89 million in July, telling Jeremias about the transaction only after it closed, according to the complaint. Jeremias’s Harch Group sued for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud. It’s also demanding an accounting of the money made on the sale to Winter.

Gottesman was a co-founder of GLG Partners Inc., which was sold to Man Group Plc in 2010. He owns at least 75 percent of Toms Capital, according to a regulatory filing. In addition to setting up the investment firm, Gottesman co-founded frozen-produce company Nomad Foods Ltd. in 2014 and owns a stake in the U.K.-based business worth more than $170 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The case is Harch Group LLC v. Toms Capital LLC, Index No. 655334-2018, New York State Supreme Court (Manhattan).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.