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March 6, 2019

Forbes: IPG CEO Gapontsev lost $1.2B in net worth in 2018

Photo | Courtesy Valentin Gapontsev

Valentin Gapontsev, CEO of Oxford laser manufacturer IPG Photonics, lost $1.2 billion of net worth in 2018, according to Forbes’ list of billionaires.

Forbes’ annual list of the world’s billionaires, published Monday, listed Gapontsev at No. 1,281 out of 2,153, with a net worth of about $1.8 billion. 

One year ago, his net worth was $3 billion when he was listed at No. 791.

According to his Forbes profile, he owns a 23.2-percent stake in the company, which has been hit hard by the U.S. trade war with China and Gapontsev’s Russian heritage. 

Throughout much of 2018, the company has cited macroeconomic and global political factors for depressed earnings reports. In July, the company lost $3 billion in value as stocks slid nearly 30 percent.

Gapontsev and the company are battling the U.S. Treasury, which has classified Gapontsev as a Russian oligarch, which could lead to sanctions and asset seizure.

The technology expert holds both Russian and U.S. citizenship, but he lives in Worcester and operates the company out of Oxford.

That list of oligarchs was apparently lifted from a previous Forbes list of Russian billionaires. Gapontsev now only appears on Forbes’ list of American billionaires.

The company and Gapontsev are suing to remove his name from the Treasury's list, arguing the company doesn't benefit at all from Russian President Vladimir Putin and the majority of the company’s business dealings are outside of Russia.

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