Alan Sugar, the British business magnate and famous media personality that many of us know from The Apprentice, is officially a billionaire. As of 2024, Alan Sugar’s net worth exceeds $1.34 billion – and it keeps growing.

Also known as Lord Alan Sugar, the businessman has started several successful businesses, owned a football club, and produced several movies in addition to his long-running reality television career.

Let’s see how Lord Sugar’s net worth grew to what it is today – over one and a half billion dollars!

Alan Sugar’s Net Worth Breakdown:

Lord Sugar’s net worth is tough to pinpoint considering that he has created, managed, and sold several businesses over the years, and his stake in these is often not publicly disclosed. In addition to this, he hasn’t revealed how much he has earned from his TV appearances or how much his real estate portfolio is worth. Still, we managed to find plenty of public information about his business sales and purchases, as well as some details about his earnings, to help us create a detailed list of what adds to his estimated net worth.

Asset or Income Source Contribution to Net Worth
Amstrad initial investment -£100 ($125)
Amstrad sale, unknown stake $157 million
Tottenham Hotspur sale of 27% stake 2001 $27.6 billion
Tottenham Hotspur sale of 12% stake 2007 $31.4 million
Stella English counter-claim payout -£50,000 ($62,700)
Amshold dividends, 2021 £390 million ($768.3 million)
Amsprop dividends, 2016 £181 million ($227.2 million)
YouView chairmanship salary, 2012 £500,000 ($627,000)
Real estate Unknown
Yacht $12.2 million
Private jet $30 million
Total Net Worth £1.078+ billion ($1.34+ billion)

Alan Sugar Net Worth: Early Life and Family of a Tech Billionaire

Alan Michael Sugar was born on March 24, 1947, in Hackney, East London, to father Nathan Sugar, a tailor in the East End, and mother Fay Sugar, who worked in a local clothing factory. Alan was the youngest of four children and the family lived a modest life in a council flat. To help them financially, at the age of 11, he boiled beetroot for a greengrocer in his neighborhood and redeemed glass bottles which he collected on the streets at the local sweet shop.

Unfortunately, his sister and brother both died from Covid in 2020, only two weeks apart.

When he was a child, Lord Alan Sugar had profusely curly hair, which is how he got the nickname “Mop head”, one he still goes by today.

As for his education, he studied at Northwold Primary School, followed by his time at Brooke House Secondary School. He left school at the age of 16 and gave computer programming a chance by attending an aptitude test at IBM, but it was unsuccessful. After this, he worked at the Ministry of Education as a statistician for a while, before he started his own business.

In 1968, Alan Sugar married Ann Simons, a former hairdresser in London. The family has three children today, two sons Daniel and Simon and their daughter Louise.

lord sugar and wife
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Alan Sugar Net Worth: What Made The Apprentice Star’s Fortune?

Alan Sugar left school and jumped into the business world almost immediately, using all the cash he had to his name to found his first business. From this point forward, Alan Sugar’s net worth grew gradually, eventually reaching his first billion in 2015.

Alan Michael Sugar Trading (Amstrad)

After leaving school, Alan Sugar spent a few years working at the Ministry of Education. In 1968, at the age of 21, he set up Amstrad (Alan Michael Sugar Trading), his first venture with only £100 of his savings.

He reportedly bought a second-hand minivan for £50 and car aerials for £40, then started selling electrical products from his newly founded company. He sold radio aerials for cars out of his van, which he issued priced at £8.

1970-1990

What started as a general export/import and wholesale business soon became a manufacturing business. Alan Sugar used injection moulding plastics for hi-fi turntable covers and, with it, achieved lower production costs, therefore undercutting his competitors who used vacuum-forming processes.

By the middle of the 1970s, the company’s manufacturing capacity expanded to include the production of stereo cassette recording decks, audio amplifiers, and AM/FM radio tuners.

In 1980, Amstrad was eventually listed on the London Stock Exchange, and in the following years, the company continued to double its profit and market value annually. Four years after its listing on the London Stock Exchange, Amstrad launched its first 8-bit machine to join the home computer industry, their Amstrad CPC 464.

Amstrad_CPC464
Source: Bill Bertram, CC BY-SA 2.5

The competition for personal computers was fierce at the time and the small company was competing with the Commodore 64 and Sinclair ZX Spectrum, as well as the most sophisticated technology at the time, the BBC Micro. Despite this, Amstrad CPC 464 sold three million units worldwide in its production life of eight years.

A year after the launch of the home computer, Sugar began selling PCW8256 word processors valued at £300 (approximately $699 at the time) each. In comparison, the rival machine Apple Macintosh Plus retailed at over $2,500. By the end of the 1980s, the company’s stock market value was already over $1.5 billion.

In 1986, Amstrad bought the rights to the computer product line of Sinclair and produced two more ZX Spectrum models and PC1512, a PC-compatible computer. The latter was the first in line of several Amstrad PCs, and quickly rose to fame in Europe.

Two years later, Lord Alan Sugar was named one of the two leading business-at-war entrepreneurs by Steward Alsop II alongside Jack Tramiel.

alan sugar early computer
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1990-2007

The 1990s were challenging for Alan Sugar’s business. Amstrad launched a range of business PCs, but this success was destroyed by unreliable hard disks supplied by Seagate, which severely damaged Amstrad’s reputation on the market.

Seagate was eventually ordered to pay Amstrad $153 million in damages for lost revenue, but the sum was reduced by $22 million in a settlement later on. While they got compensation, Amstrad never completely recovered from this incident.

At about this time, Alan Sugar decided to focus on portable computers, and Amstrad entered the market with their GX4000 device. However, due to the lack of game choices, the product was a commercial failure and was instantly superseded by the Mega Drive and Super NES, Japanese consoles with more varied game selections.

In 1993, Amstrad released a PDA called the PenPad and bought into Vilen and Betacom to expand the business to the telecommunications industry. Lord Sugar also released the first of the company’s email and telephony devices called the e-m@iler. This was followed up by the e-m@ilerplus in 2002, but neither of them sold in great volume.

In 2001, Sugar’s son Daniel Sugar sold his half-a-million-share personal stake in Amstrad. At the time, Daniel was head of operations at Tottenham Hotspur, the football club that his father co-owned, and stayed on in that position despite Alan Sugar’s decision to relinquish control of the club.

On July 31, 2007, the broadcaster BSkyB – which would later become part of media conglomerate Comcast – announced that it would buy Amstrad for around £125 million ($253.75 million in 2007). Amstrad supplied around 30% of the set-top box devices for Sky TV’s satellite offering already, and the orders from the broadcaster made up about 75% of the company’s sales in that same year, so this deal was a win for both sides.

Sir Alan Sugar, as he was titled at the time, was Amstrad’s chairman and chief executive during the sale, and he remained with the business after the sale. A year later, he stepped down as the company’s chairman, handing over the day-to-day operations to Alan Webber.

Tottenham Hotspur

In June 1991, following his departure from Amstrad, Sugar teamed up with former player Terry Venables to buy Tottenham Hotspur, an English Premier League football club. His initial investment in the team, which is not publicly disclosed, helped ease the financial troubles the club faced at the time.

However, right after acquiring a controlling stake in the club, Alan Sugar made it clear that he saw the Spurs as a business proposition and that he wasn’t a fan of the sport or the club before the purchase. He was known to share controversial posts such as the following:

lord sugar offensive tweet
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He apologized for the Tweet within hours, saying:

I misjudged my [sic] earlier tweet. It was in no way intended to cause offence, and clearly my attempt at humour has backfired. I have deleted the tweet and am very sorry.

Seven years after the purchase, he installed George Graham as the manager, which turned many of the club’s fans against him. Graham was a star player and manager for Arsenal, the team’s arch-rival.

During Sugar’s time in charge of Tottenham, the team’s biggest achievement was finishing seventh in the league and they only won the Worthington Cup. Due to the hostility of the White Hart Lane fans, Alan Sugar was eventually forced away from the club.

This wasn’t the only decision that enraged Tottenham’s fans, too. Alan Sugar also sacked Venables, who appealed to the high courts to get reinstated. After a legal battle over the summer, Sugar won and said “I felt as though I’d killed Bambi”.

In 2001, Sugar sold a portion of his majority stake in the club, reportedly because of death threats to him and his family. He sold a 27% stake in the club to leisure group ENIC for £22 million (around $31.46 million at the time). He also left the position of chairman of Tottenham Hotspur ten years after his initial purchase.

Six years later, he sold his 12% remaining stake for £25 million (around $49 million at the time).

When asked about this investment, Sugar branded it as “a waste of his time”.

The Apprentice

When most people hear of Lord Alan Sugar, they instantly recognize his name for his role in the popular BBC reality TV show The Apprentice.

Alan Sugar has starred in the UK version of the Young Apprentice show, as well as worked as the CEO of the Australian version of The Apprentice.

lord sugar karren claude
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The Apprentice (UK Version)

In 2005, the London-born business magnate became the host of the popular BBC reality TV show The Apprentice (the UK version), in the same role as Donald Trump in the American version at the time. The show had one series broadcast per year starting in 2005. Each week, Alan Sugar fired at least one candidate until only one was left and employed the winner in his company, up until 2010. Since 2011, the winner of The Apprentice has won a partnership with Lord Alan Sugar and gets an investment of £250,000 to establish their own business.

Through The Apprentice, Lord Alan Sugar has become an unlikely star and is known for his harsh, direct responses and behavior (like Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank). Despite his doubts about the show, the 2006 series finale achieved the largest ever audience of The Apprentice – 5.7 million people – and prompted a move to BBC One from BBC Two.

After two successful seasons of the show, Alan Sugar wanted it to be more business-oriented and requested that he be portrayed in a more favorable light to counter his reputation of being belligerent. He also expressed his desire that the candidates should be of higher caliber than those who appeared in the second seiries, frustrated by the behavior of Michelle Dewberry, the winner of the series who left his employment eight months after taking the job but used the experience as a way to advance her career, according to Sugar.

In September 2013, Lord Alan Sugar lost his counter-claim against Stella English at an Employment Tribunal. English was the 2010 winner of the show and claimed that Lord Sugar left her unemployed and forced her to resign from her steady job because it was “not a role of substance” to join his internet set-top box company YouView. Eventually, Lord Alan Sugar paid £50,000 in legal fees.

The BBC series returned for the 18th time in 2024 with Lord Alan Sugar at the reigns and new ambitious entrepreneurs hoping to earn his investment.

The details of how much Lord Sugar has earned from his appearances on the show are not publicly disclosed.

The Celebrity Apprentice Australia

In September 2020, Lord Alan Sugar became the new ‘CEO’ of the Celebrity Apprentice Australia, featured on Nine Network. He replaced Mark Bouris for the role.

Young Apprentice

Young Apprentice or Junior Apprentice in the show’s first season, is a British reality TV program spin-off in which twelve young people aged 16 or 17 competed to win a prize from Lord Alan Sugar himself, one worth £25,000.

Despite the success of the show in the first season, Sugar’s political implications with Gordon Brown’s government sparked a debate over the program’s political impartiality regulations, which resulted in both shows, Junior Apprentice and the sixth edition of The Apprentice being delayed in 2009

lord sugar young apprentice
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The spin-off started airing on BBC One and BBC HD in May 2010 and concluded on 10 June. It featured Nick Hewer and Karren Brady as his advisors.
The program ended with Lord Alan Sugar awarding the prize fund to Arjun Rajyagor with Tim Ankers winning second place.

In October 2011, the second series of the show started and featured eight episodes. Lord Alan Sugar awarded the prize fund to Zara Brownless with James McCullough winning second place.

Other Television Appearances

While he is most widely known for his role in The Apprentice, Alan Sugar has other notable appearances on TV, including:

  • 2005: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity special
  • 2008: An Audience without Jeremy Beadle
  • 2009: The Real Sir Alan, BBC Two documentary presented by Fiona Bruce
  • 2009: TV advertisements for NS&I, investments backed by the UK Treasury
  • 2009: TV advertisements for The Learning and Skills Council
  • 2011: Lord Sugar Tackles Football, a documentary about English football
  • 2012: cameo appearance in EastEnders special episode for Children in Need
  • 2012: cameo appearance in Doctor Who: The Power of Three, filmed on the set of The Apprentice

Not only has Lord Alan Sugar appeared on TV, but he has also taken the role of a producer – twice. He produced The Survival Club in 1999, and Blame It on the Moon in 2000.

Political Involvement

Lord Alan Sugar isn’t just a businessman and TV star. He has been very active in the political world, too. In 2012, the Evening Standard reported that he was approached to be the Labour candidate for Mayor of London back in 2009, a claim that Sugar ridiculed in an interview with The Guardian.

During Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle in 2009, the BBC reported that Lord Alan Sugar was offered a job as the government’s Enterprise Champion and a peerage. That same year, Sugar stated that he wouldn’t be joining the government and that this appointment was politically neutral.

That’s not all of his political involvement, though.

Between 1997 and 2015, he was a member of the Labour Party and a major donor. He left the party in 2015, four days after the UK general election, issuing the following statement:

In the past year I found myself losing confidence in the party due to their negative business policies and general anti-enterprise concepts they were considering if they were elected. I expressed this to the most senior figures in the party several times. I signed on to New Labour in 1997 but more recently, particularly in relation to business, I sensed a policy shift moving back towards what Old Labour stood for.

In 2014, Lord Alan Sugar was one of 200 public figures who signed the letter to The Guardian expressing their hopes that Scotland would vote to remain part of the UK in the referendum later in September.

In May 2017, he endorsed Theresa May for the UK general election. He also endorsed Boris Johnson during the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, and endorsed the Conservative Party itself in that year’s general election.

Awards, Accolades, and Knighthood

In 2000, Lord Alan Sugar was knighted in the New Year Honors list of 2000 for services to the Home Computer and Electronics Industry, becoming Sir Alan Sugar.

In July 2009, the businessman was elevated to the House of Lords and made Baron Sugar in Clapton and the London Borough of Hackney, taking on the title he’s known by today. On 25 November 2009, he made his maiden speech in the House of Lords.

lord sugar house of lords
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Other awards, accolades, and milestones of the famous Lord Alan Sugar include:

  • Two honorary doctorates of Science from City University in 1988 and Brunel University in 2005
  • Nominated for a BAFTA Award for The Apprentice in 2007
  • Released his book What You See is What You Get: My Autobiography in 2010
  • Listed by Richtopia at number 5 in their list of 100 Most Influential British Entrepreneurs in 2015
  • Ranked number 1 in the Essex Power 100 in 2017
  • Named the most powerful person in Essex in 2017

Lord Alan Sugar’s net worth is impressive, but over the years, he has donated a large portion of his wealth to charitable causes, too. He is a philanthropist for charities like Great Ormond Street Hospital and Jewish Care. In 2001, he donated £200,000 to the British Labour Party. He also donated £3 million of his personal funds to refurbish the Hackney Empire theatre and an unknown portion of his earnings from The Apprentice to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Other Ventures and Investments of Lord Alan Sugar

The London-born business magnate has dabbled in various industries over the years. Amstrad is his most profitable venture so far, but this is not the only business he has invested in over the years. Here’s a full breakdown of his other major ventures.

Other Businesses

In his autobiography, Lord Alan Sugar credits his success to making great products and scrutinizing his competitors’ strategies. He has done this through every business he ever established – and with great success. Here are the remaining ventures that added to Lord Sugar’s net worth over the years.

Amsair

Lord Alan Sugar established the jet charter business Amsair Executive Aviation in 1993. The company is now run by Sugar’s son Daniel. The name Amsair is an acronym taken from the initials of the founder’s name and refers to “Alan Michael Sugar Air”.

Today, Amsair operates a large Cessna fleet and offers business and executive jet charters. It also operates an Embraer Legacy 650.

Amsprop Estates

Arguably, one of the most profitable business ventures of Lord Alan Sugar is his property investment firm Amsprop, which he founded in 1985. Amsprop sells commercial space in London and other sought-after locations for prices that often stretch into the millions. The company is reportedly worth around £800 million today.

Like his other businesses, this one is also an acronym of his name – Alan Michael Sugar Properties.

Viglen LTD

At one point, Lord Alan Sugar founded and was the chairman of the board at Viglen Ltd., an IT service company that catered to the public and education sector. He, however, resigned from his position in 2009. In 2014, Viglen was sold to XMA for an undisclosed sum.

YouView

In March 2011, Sugar joined the team of YouView, a BBC IPTV project. He replaced Kip Meek on the company’s board.

YouView was formerly known as Project Canvas and is backed by Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, BT, and Talk Talk.

Reportedly, Lord Sugar’s payment for chairing YouView for 2012 alone was £500,000.

lord sugar youview
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Amscreen

Lord Sugar’s venture Amscreen is run by his son Simon. This business specializes in selling advertising space on digital signage screens with its targeted audience including retailers, leisure venues, and medical centers. Their screens use a face detection system titled OptimEyes to identify the gender and age of its viewers. Lord Alan Sugar is the Chairman of Amscreen.

In 2008, Amscreen acquired Comtech M2M, a company specializing in communications product retailing. After the purchase, Comtech M2M was officially renamed Amscreen Limited.

Amshold

Amshold is Lord Alan Sugar’s private holding company that owns his private businesses and was used to make the arrangements discussed in The Apprentice. It deals with management services, along with property trading and investment, and much more. In 2021, the company added £390 million ($768.3 million at the time the news broke) to Lord Alan Sugar’s net worth through one of the biggest dividend payouts in British corporate history.

Lord Alan Sugar’s Real Estate

Most of Lord Sugar’s real estate assets are held in his company Amsprop Estates. It has a massive property portfolio across Essex and London, focusing on commercial developments lent out to businesses like Hard Rock Cafe and Tesco. The company has worked on major projects including the redevelopment of The Crosspoint in London, the building of the Lever Building near Barbican, and Gloucester House on Old Park Lane.

Reportedly, Lord Alan Sugar’s net worth mostly comes from his real estate business, as he took £181 million in dividends in 2016 alone.

As for his private property, Lord Sugar’s primary residence is not publicly disclosed, but we found that he owns at least the following properties:

  • Mansion in Chigwell, Essex
  • Beachfront property in Marbella, Spain
  • Mansion in Boca Raton, Florida (sold in 2015)

Yacht and Private Jets

Lord Alan Sugar is the owner of a motor yacht Lady A, which was put on sale for £12.2 million ($16.47 million at the time), but it most likely hasn’t been sold yet. The yacht was built by Sterling and designed by Bannenberg and Rowell Design in 1986.

Alan Sugar's yacht
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In addition to the yacht, Lord Sugar’s net worth also includes $30 million invested in his Embraer Legacy 650 private jet, which accommodates 14 passengers.

What Can We Learn from Alan Sugar’s Story?

Lord Alan Sugar has an impressive life story, one that serves as an invaluable lesson for entrepreneurs. He started selling electrical products from a company he built with only £100, which makes his story one for the ages. Starting from scratch, the now popular media personality has managed to build an incredible wealth thanks to his business acumen, smart decisions, and adaptability.

Sugar is proof that you don’t have to focus on a single industry or field to succeed. He has had numerous successful transitions between entertainment, politics, electronics, real estate, and more, which is an impressive testament to his formula for success – diversification.

The businessman’s estimated net worth has grown gradually over the years thanks to his ability to tackle business-related challenges right away through hard work and smart decision-making.

Even years after selling his consumer electronics company Amstrad and leaving Tottenham Hotspur, Sugar’s influence remains strong even today. His TV show appearances provide millions of viewers with lessons about business life, and he even wrote an autobiography and offers public speeches to guide people toward success.