Amstrad brand will live on at BSkyB…

The Amstrad brand will continue under BSkyB after it agreed to buy the business from media tycoon Sir Alan Sugar for £125m.

Amstrad group yesterday (Tuesday) accepted the terms of the Sky takeover bid in a deal that will see the star of The Apprentice collect £34.5m.

A Sky spokesman says the brand name will be kept, although it is unclear if the pay-TV company will invest in it. The spokesman says: “We will invest in products and innovation.”

Sir Alan and his senior management team will join Sky under the terms of the acquisition. Sky, which buys set-top boxes from Amstrad, accounts for 75% of its profits. The only other TV operator Amstrad supplies with boxes is Sky Italia.

Sky believes the move will help reduce costs, give it control over product design and speed up product innovation and delivery. Amstrad is working on a next-generation set-top box for Sky, which is expected to launch next year.

Amstrad – Alan Michael Sugar TRADing – was launched in 1968, briefly becoming one of the biggest manufacturers of home computers in the 1980s.

It first manufactured set-top boxes ten years ago and in the past year supplied 30% of the boxes bought by the Sky group.

However, Ovum senior analyst Carl Gressum claims the deal could antagonise Sky’s other suppliers, which would cause future supply chain issues.

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