"End of an era" tends to be an over-used term, but for the news that Sir Alan Sugar serial entrepreneur in the consumer electronics and in its early days home computing market for nearly 40 years, and more recently star of the BBC's The Apprentice series is selling out to the Murdoch media empire, the phrase really does meet the bill.
The deal certainly seems a good one for Sir Alan, who is set to make around £34 million for his stake in the company that he listed on the stock exchange in 1980. In its early days, Amstrad dabbled in all things consumer electronic, and was responsible for the first real home computers sold in the UK, the CPC and PCW. It went on to become a big name in Europe as well but then competition and falling margins led to a mini collapse, and Sugar went on to seal a canny deal with Rupert Murdoch, for whose empire Amstrad has been a supplier of set top boxes for a long time.
Some of the other Sugar ventures, for instance the Emailer and the Dancall mobile phone adventure were less successful, but kept Sir Alan in the public eye.
In typical fashion and as expected from the star of The Apprentice, Sir Alan told his employees as the deal was announced that the good news is they have a solid future. The bad news, he quipped, is that he is staying around for a while to run the business for BSkyB.
The deal is also a positive for the satellite broadcaster, which will get a much bigger say in the development and procurement of some of its STBs. Amstrad already supplies about a third of the boxes, and the logic behind the deal is that this now represents about three-quarters of Amstrad's sales.
Sir Alan, who turns 60 this year, is unlikely to disappear from the consumer electronics scene, let alone TV screens.