Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Sugar, Alan (Michael)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English entrepreneur. In 1968 he founded Amstrad, which became one of the UK's leading consumer electronics companies. It produced innovative, low-priced goods throughout the 1980s. When Amstrad's share price fell in the 1990s recession, Sugar reorganized the company to launch a new generation of consumer products. He was chair of London's Tottenham Hotspurs football club 1991–2001, and star of the popular reality television series The Apprentice (2005– ) in the UK.

Sugar's IBM-compatible PC, launched in 1986 at a quarter of the price of leading market products, captured 25% of the European market. The same year Amstrad absorbed Sinclair Research, owned by English computer entrepreneur Clive Sinclair, which had gone bankrupt. After diversifying into telecommunications in the 1990s, Sugar focused on higher-margin consumer electronic products, such as the e-mail enabled phone. In 1996 Sugar became non-executive chair of the consumer electronics group Betacom and non-executive director of the computer company Viglen. In 2007 he sold Amstrad to the satellite broadcasting company BSkyB.

Sugar was born in Hackney, London, the youngest son of an East End tailor. Briefly working as an educational statistician, he started Amstrad – an acronym for Alan M Sugar Trading – selling car aerials from the boot of his car, and then moved into manufacturing hi-fi equipment and other consumer electronics. Amstrad went public in 1980.

In 1991 Sugar bought Tottenham Hotspur for £7 million in partnership with English coach Terry Venables.

In 2010 Sugar published the memoir What You See is What You Get. He was knighted in 1999.

quotations

Sugar, Alan (Michael)

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.