Tom Pellereau's company struggles
Accounts show that 'Apprentice' hopeful Tom Pellereau's businesses are not doing well
'Apprentice' hopeful Tom Pellereau's businesses are failing.
The 31-year-old inventor - who has reached the final five in the business contest - has seen his company M&P Consulting turn over just £500 last year and has a net worth of minus £15,597, while Foxifile Ltd owes more than its assets with a net worth of minus £6,721.
A financial expert commented: "These balance sheets don't look good at all.
"To say they're in a dire situation is an understatement."
If Tom wins this year's 'Apprentice', he will be rewarded with a £250,000 business investment from show chief Lord Alan Sugar, and friends say the advice and expertise that would be available to him would be invaluable.
One pal told the Daily Star Sunday newspaper: "Tom would be a fool not to want Lord Sugar's money - and expertise. He's got a very creative mind but he needs help with running a business."
However, friends fear that the revelation of the Londoner's accounts may damage his chances of landing the prize.
An insider said: "This is a huge embarrassment for Tom. He's tried to keep this a big secret and hid it during the show.
"When Lord Sugar realises this, it won't reflect well on Tom. He may make out he's a successful businessman, but the figures speak for themselves."
Other pals of Tom tried to play down the figures, insisting they were normal for a fledgling business.
One told the News of the World newspaper: "Tom understands the hard work that goes into a new business. He is also aware that companies take time to perform at a profit. M&P Consulting has never been refused credit.
"Tom is not ashamed of the fact that the company has debts which are, in fact, loans from the two owners. He's confident it will be profitable soon. Tom is determined to win 'The Apprentice' and prove to Lord Sugar that he will make a fantastic business partner."