Ladbrokes boss sitting on £6.5m windfall after exploiting bonus scheme

New Ladbrokes boss exploits bonus scheme to make a potential £6.5m profit in his first month on the job

Windfall: Shay Segev took over at the owner of Ladbrokes Coral from Kenny Alexander last month

GVC’s chief executive is sitting on a windfall of almost £7million after exploiting a bonus scheme to snap up shares on the cheap.

Shay Segev, who took over as the owner of Ladbrokes Coral from Kenny Alexander last month, has bought close to 1.5m shares for £3.17 thanks to an incentive plan put in place in 2016.

Those shares are worth £11.4million as GVC’s share price is now £7.66, meaning if he were to sell his holding he would make an immediate profit of around £6.7million.

The purchase, which insiders said was designed to underline his confidence in the company, takes his total holdings to 1.6m shares.

But some will see it as yet another generous bonus scheme for its top executives.

Segev, 44, the former chief operating officer of GVC, took over in July from Alexander, who earned £77million during his 13-year tenure.

He started on a salary of £675,000, less than Alexander’s annual pay cheque of £816,000, and will be eligible for bonuses of up to £3.7million per year.

Last week the firm was criticised for refusing to hand back money it took to furlough staff, despite cashing in on an online gambling boom and expanding into the US.

Online profits have surged 53 per cent to £368.6million in the first half of the year, in part thanks to online sales jumping by almost a fifth.

In a note published yesterday JP Morgan Cazenove raised its target price for GVC’s stock from 1140p to 1,220p.

Analysts said they had greater hopes for its American expansion after the release of its half-yearly results last week.

It has invested $450million in the race to become the market leader in US sports betting and online gaming, and plans to be live in 11 states by the end of the year. Shares dipped 0.4 per cent, or 3.4p, to 766.4p.