Photographer: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

A Billionaire Lost $52 Million in One Day — But It Could Have Been a Lot Worse

  • Playtech shares plunge as much as 25% on profit warning
  • Founder Teddy Sagi owns 6% of stock after selling down stake

Billionaire Teddy Sagi saw the value of his fortune decline by more than 40 million pounds ($52 million) on Thursday following a profit warning from the U.K. company he founded -- though it might have been so much worse.

Sagi still owns 6.3 percent of Playtech Plc, whose shares lost a fifth of their value after the provider of software to online gaming companies warned that slower business in Asia will take a toll on earnings. He’s cut his holding significantly in the last year, selling about 28 percent of the stock in three separate placings as he diversifies away from gambling. The last sale was in June, long before Playtech’s current difficulties started.

Sagi, who formed the company in 1999, has been broadening his interests this year, acquiring a stake in Dutch real estate developer Brack Capital Properties NV and buying out the shares he didn’t already own in Market Tech, the owner of a large part of London’s Camden Market. He has a net worth of about $2.9 billion, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.

A representative for the entrepreneur declined to comment on Playtech’s announcement.

Playtech shares plunged as much as 25 percent on Thursday, the biggest intraday decline since July 2009, cutting its market capitalization to about 2.5 billion pounds.

Weakness in certain parts of the region, as well as difficulties in a contract with the Sun newspaper’s bingo websites, mean performance for the year will be about 5 percent below the bottom end of estimates, the Douglas, Isle of Man-based company said in a statement.

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