British Tycoon Robert Tchenguiz Sued for $2 Million by Spreadex

May 29, 2023
Mark Patrickson

British tycoon Robert Tchenguiz has been sued for £2 million by Spreadex, a popular spread-betting platform, after amassing millions in losses on his activist campaign at FirstGroup.

Tchenguiz, of Iranian origin, started building up an exposure to the bus operator FirstGroup in 2019 to support a US hedge fund’s bid for a break up of the company. He set up accounts with a number of spread betting firms to build an investment in FirstGroup.

However, his investment soured in March 2020 when the pandemic prompted a sell-off in markets. Spreadex started closing out Tchenguiz’s open positions on FirstGroup, putting him even further in the red. He was carrying a negative balance of £1.5 million that he couldn’t cover when his account was put on hold.

This is not the first time Tchenguiz has faced legal action for unpaid debts to spread-betting companies. In 2022, CMC, another spread-betting firm, sued Tchenguiz for failing to pay an outstanding debt on accounts he had with the company.

In that case, the investments also targeted FirstGroup, and the loss was estimated at more than £6.5 million. Tchenguiz was ordered to pay £1.31 million to another spread-betting company, IG Index, in 2022 after losing a legal case in court.

Tchenguiz, who was once named Property Entrepreneur of The Year, is a real estate investor and securities dealer who has been on the board of Asite Ltd. and 37 other companies. In the past, he was Chairman of Rotch Group

His family left Iraq in 1948 and settled in Iran, where his father, a jeweler, worked for the Shah and ran the country's mint. Tchenguiz changed the family surname from Khadouri to Tchenguiz and moved to England in 1979 after the Iranian revolution.

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