back to article BSkyB buys Amstrad

BSkyB is paying £125m for Amstrad - Sir Alan Sugar's set-top box manufacturing firm. Sky is offering 150 pence for each Amstrad share, which is 23 per cent more than the shares were fetching on the open market last night. On the London Stock Exchange Amstrad shares have jumped almost 20 per cent to 145p on the news. Amstrad …


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  1. Adam Buckland


    So who will support my PC1512 with it's extra 128K memory and 32MB hard drive now. It got bad when Dixons stopped selling floppy disks, no 5 1/4 inch not those new fangled 3 1/2 inch ones.

    Next I'll be told to upgraqde to a RLL disk drive..

    Bah Humbug!

  2. Simon Greenwood

    Yeah, but Amstrad...

    Can we expect the next generation of set-top boxes to have built in Karaoke machines or e-Mailers? He's still got a lot of those in a warehouse somewhere.

  3. Glynn Williams

    The Director

    A new reality tv show which pits Alan Sugar against a number of rival Managing Directors to see who will actually run BAmstradB. The Judges include Simon Cowell (Well, why not?); Rupert Murdoch (Who will let each of the finalists manage a company of his for 6 months, then pick the one who will work for the least money!) and be hosted by Kate Thornton.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're Fired!

    I wonder how long AMS will survive at the head of Amstrad once it is owned by Murdoch - a bigger clash of egos it is hard to imagine...

  5. Pete Silver badge

    so much for "never work for anyone else"

    In SAS's profile[1] he says that "Once you decide to work for yourself, you never work for anyone else."

    Let's see if he's true to his word, or if it was all just made up for the TV interviews

    [1] for example:

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The beardy gobshite gets even richer, is there no justice in the world?

  7. AndyB

    Arrrrgghh, eMailers

    Someone gave me one of those bloody things for Christmas one year. Its never been out of its box.

    Must be up for the prize of "Most useless item of consumer electronics in the history of the world"......

  8. Steven

    PC1640 DD

    Was ALL about the colour display (that power the base unit, wtf was all that about?!), double-disk drive and the 640k RAM....

    Fond memories, anyone remember GEM?

  9. Geoff

    Transition only I expect

    I expect that Sir Alan will only manage the transition of Amstrad to Sky, he'll likely leave to work on one of his other business' afterwards, within 12 months I would guess. A transition period will undoubtedly be part of the deal as Sky will want the company to integrate well into it's existing Business and not drop the ball, especially while they are lagging technology wise behind Virgin Media. Amstrad is actually not a bad pick for them as Amstrad has done some digital services in the past (even if we all do laugh at the emailer phone and that crap webTV product that they had a few years ago), either way, there is bound to be some IP of use to Sky in that.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sky is a great British success story?

    Do me a favour, Sir Alan. On the ball, as always.

  11. Andy

    Good luck to him i say...

    people seem to have a lot to say about alan without actually knowing the man personally! I had the pleasure of working for Alan Sugar for 8yrs in the 90's (i actually done a lot of the R&D work on the 6486/8000/9000 series). he is direct and to the point but if you want to make money you have to be like that, but he does trust the people around him, he certainly took notice when i told him getting in with philips and their new vcd (it was new at the time) would be a big mistake.

    alan is entitled to retire at some point and what better way to bring in a lot of extra cash than to sell off some of his business... remember amstrad is only a small part of alans empire

  12. ssu


    It will be interesting to see if Sky do anything with the e-m@iler series. Will they ditch it or make a Sky oriented product?

    AMS seems to be selling up everything.

  13. Giles Jones Gold badge


    If you have any shares in Pace, now might be the time to think about selling them.

  14. Peter

    Does this now mean we'll see "Alan Sugar media tart"

    Big brother, Deadenders, Lost >-)

  15. Chris Bamford

    PC1512 & PC1640

    I remember these machines from way back yonder as well as using GEM, fantastic machines I say.

  16. James Pickett


    In the sense that Monty Burns would use it, that is. Murdoch and Sugar really deserve each other, IMHO - too much to hope that they end up killing each other, I suppose?

    BTW, I see there are plenty of Emailers on Ebay. One went for £2 a few days ago...

  17. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Alan Sugar has left the building

    IIRC Amstrad only accounts for a small part of AMS's fortune, he's been earning most of his money from the property bubble - something the BBC seems to neglect to mention on 'The Apprentice'.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But will the boxes work finally?

    So Sky buys the most unreliable satellite box manufacturer known to man, couple this with their appalling customer service and I think they're ripe for a rebranding by Mr Branson's Virgin Media balls up :).

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    perhaps sky bought the most unreliable set top box so they could prevent it getting to market, and improve thier service...

    perhaps not!

  20. Alistair


    Lets hope Mr Murdoch keeps the reciept. He may want to return Amstrad once he realises its a cheaply made hunk of junk.

  21. samuel duckfield

    I was relieved...

    ... when the Skyman fitted a GRUNDIG receiver - how sad is that?!

    Apparently, the acquisition will 'add to the bottom line in the first 12 months' - just shows that Sky is only interested in quantity when it comes to hardware. Good ol 'stack em high' mentality...

  22. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    He was into HiFi first

    I remember my plasticy IC2000 amp and IC3000 tuner, which were surprisingly good, at least once you had sorted the power supplies out with big smoothing capacitors. And does anybody remember the Rega Planar look-alike turntable with the strange three armed 'platter'. I'm sure that it probably sounded OK if you actually put a glass platter on.

    I'm sure it will be AMStrad RIP in a few years.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    N I Clairs

    I suppose this means that BSkyB now own the venerable Sinclair Research name, assuming that Amstrad didn't sell it off sometime in the last twenty years. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

  24. Kevin Hall

    Sky + Amstrad

    "a wretched hive of scum and villainy" - Obi-Wan Kenobi. A long time ago...

  25. Dave Moffatt

    The best use for an old Amstrad Sky+ box

    Is a mini-ITX project. A great case to use because no one would suspect anything.

    At least my old Amstrad Sky+ box is more reliable than my BT Home Hub...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Drop dead shrewd?

    Hands up all those who recall the article in The Business back in Febuary?


    Apparently shareholders were pressing for greater innovation against accusations that a drop in pre-tax profits was due to "Amstrad's failure to refresh its product line".

    Surely the shrewd move would have been to have invested the £30m unspent cash as returned to shareholders in more customer oriented research & development? Perhaps he could even have used The Apprentice to recruit somebody to do that but, alas and alack, AMS chose to focus on getting more sales staff to sell outdated and unreliable products to customers who don't realise they are paying a premium for tat they don't really need. Yes, the last part of that sentence is paraphrasing what AMS said when firing Dr Sophie...

    So, it seems the shrewd move is to sell up and move on rather than to revitalise and encourage UK technology businesses. As Alistair says, I hope Murdoch keeps the receipt!

    BTW: For those that are interested, The Apprentice winner is actually engaged in trying to sell land near Stansted on AMS behalf. Interesting outcome considering the last two were engaged in trying to develop new consumer goods/services.

    Ah well. The man becomes more like Donald Trump everyday. :)

  27. Jon Pennycook

    Amstrad don't own Sinclair

    Amstrad bought the rights to the Sinclair computers, not to the name. Sinclair Research is still going -

    Perhaps the set top boxes will contain Spectrum emulators if we're lucky.

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