The Apprentice winner Joseph Valente has parted company with Lord Alan Sugar and says the split is in the best interests of the business.
The Peterborough-based plumbing business owner Mr Valente won Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 backing and a 50/50 business partnership on the BBC reality show in December 2015.
The split is amicable and we have both left on very good terms and believe this is best for the business.Joseph Valente, The Apprentice winner
But now Lord Sugar has parted ways with Mr Valente after less than two years.
Lord Sugar is divesting himself of his interest in ImpraGas, the business, based on the Eagle Business Park, in Yaxley, that he owned jointly with Mr Valente.
Mr Valente said: “I have acquired Lord Sugar’s shareholding and will continue to grow the business.
“The split is amicable and we have both left on very good terms and believe this is best for the business.
He added: “I am so grateful for everything Lord Sugar has done for me and I could not have asked for a better partner in the early stages of my business career.
“I owe him a great deal.
“I am confident that with the winning business model we created together, I can continue to grow the business successfully.”
Mr Valente became the 11th winner of The Apprentice after Lord Sugar chose him as a business partner instead of finalist Vana Koutsomitis, who hoped to launch a dating app.
Lord Sugar said: “Since winning The Apprentice in 2015 with the prize investment of £250,000, Joseph, along with guidance and support from myself and my advisers, has transformed ImpraGas into a fast growing gas boiler installation company.
“Joseph Valente and I have agreed that he will acquire my shareholding and with it full control of the company will transfer to him.
“I will still be on hand to offer any help and advice required. I wish Joseph and ImpraGas all the very best for the future and will follow their progress with much affection.”
After crowning his winner, Lord Sugar said: “Joseph is a great example of what’s possible.
“He turned his life around and decided he was going to go to work and here he is today, a well-deserved winner of The Apprentice and I look forward to him being my business partner.
“I hope it inspires a lot of people to see what is possible in this world.”