U.S. billionaire targets Canadian designer in Bahamas row

Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:32pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A billionaire hedge fund manager who has sued to stop Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygård from expanding his Bahamas estate has asked a U.S. court to help him obtain crucial evidence from a whistleblower to help with the litigation.

The unusual request by Louis Bacon, founder of Moore Capital Management LP, expands the conflict that the 71-year-old Nygård already faces in the Bahamas.

Environmental groups and many residents there have contended that his property development in the exclusive gated Lyford Cay community on the west side of New Providence Island may damage the surrounding ecosystem and beaches.

Bacon outlined his request in filings on Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Richard Good, a lawyer for Nygård, called the request part of Bacon's "malicious campaign" to illegally obtain the Bahamian property and "wrongfully continue to damage Mr. Nygård's businesses and reputation." Nygård will hire a New York lawyer "with a view" to filing a countersuit in the now 10-year battle, Good added.

Nygård, a son of Finnish immigrants, is chairman of Nygård International, which is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Bacon, who said he lives next door to Nygård in the Bahamas, wants to obtain more than 1,000 hours of footage from Stephen Feralio, 28, a former personal videographer for Nygård.

According to the filings, Feralio approached Bacon in March with video evidence of his former boss's activities, but feared turning over the footage because Nygård might retaliate.   Continued...