The Apprentice, everyone’s favourite business based TV show, started again last night, 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?
As first reported by the Daily Telegraph, Lord Sugar is worth £1.4 billion ($US2.17 billion), and placed just outside the top 100 in this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, in 101st place.
This makes him nearly five times richer than the Queen, but only a third as wealthy as another of Britain’s best loved entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson.
But where does Britain’s second-most famous businessman get his money from? The answer is property. Given that Sugar often makes his potential apprentices conduct tasks based around their entrepreneurial skills, it’s a little bit surprising that he now makes most of his money from Britain’s absurd land prices.
Amsprop Estates, which is managed by his son, Daniel, is Sugar’s biggest cash cow. The Telegraph reports that the firm is currently “sitting on a major pile of cash” that it is intending to spend on prime retail and office spaces in the centre of London.
Amsprop has made millions already this year through the sales of numerous major developments, including selling the Sugar Building near St. Pauls Cathedral for £80 million ($US124 million). Amsprop made a profit of around £50 million ($US77.5 million) on the sale. Add that to the sale of Burberry’s store on Haymarket, which went for £65 million ($US101 million), and it is obvious why Lord Sugar is so rich.
Last year’s Apprentice winner Mark Wright recently said “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 [email protected], even if it was famous for being a flop. Sugar sold Amstrad for £125 million ($US193.6 million) in 2007, which, given it was worth more than £1 billion ($US1.55 billion) in the 1980s, was a spectacular fall from grace for the company.
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