The Apprentice, everyone’s favourite business based TV show, starts again tonight, and as always the show’s star is Lord Sugar.
As the entrepreneur behind companies like Amstrad, he often mentions how he made his fortune. But just how much does he actually have?
This makes him nearly four times richer than the Queen, but only a quarter as wealthy as another of Britain’s best loved entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson.
But where does Britain’s second-most famous businessman get his money from? The answer is property. Given that Sugar often makes his potential apprentices conduct tasks based around their entrepreneurial skills, it’s a little bit surprising that he now makes most of his money from Britain’s absurd land prices.
Amsprop Estates, which is managed by his son, Daniel, is Sugar’s biggest cash cow, despite having seen profits slump from £133.9 million in 2015, to £80.2 million last year. Regardless, Lord Sugar took home a record dividend of £181 million in 2016, according to a Companies House filing reported by the Telegraph.
Amshold, the overall holding company of Lord Sugar’s, recently completed the redevelopment of The Crosspoint near Liverpool Street in the City of London, while its portfolio also includes The Lever Building near Barbican, which is let out to Tesco, and Gloucester House on Old Park Lane, home to a branch of the Hard Rock Cafe.
2014’s Apprentice winner Mark Wright said in 2015 that “Lord Sugar said you make money from property and do business for fun,” according to the Telegraph.
Before he took charge on The Apprentice, Sugar was probably most famous as the man behind Amstrad, a company that made goods like cigarette lighters and hi-fis. Its most famous product was the e-m@ailer, even if it was famous for being a flop.
Sugar sold Amstrad for £125 million ($193.6 million) in 2007, which, given it was worth more than £1 billion ($1.55 billion) in the 1980s, was a spectacular fall from grace for the company.