Former Apprentice star splits from business co-founded with fellow contestant

Will McCreevey sells stake in National Beauty Distribution and is made redundant

National Beauty Distribution owns brands such as hair products line Kevin.Murphy and distributes sanitiser brand Mae Mae

National Beauty Distribution owns brands such as hair products line Kevin.Murphy and distributes sanitiser brand Mae Mae

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Will McCreevey, a former star of the television show The Apprentice, which was fronted by motor entrepreneur Bill Cullen, has been made redundant from the successful beauty products business he later founded with a fellow contestant on the show, who has also bought out his stake in the business.

Mr McCreevey and Kieran Walsh, who were both contestants in The Apprentice on TV3 (now Virgin Media One) in 2010, set up the business that later became National Beauty Distribution the following year. It owns brands such as hair products line Kevin.Murphy and distributes sanitiser brand Mae Mae.

The company doubled its annual profits last year to more than €2 million, and had net assets at the end of 2020 of about €4.4 million, according to the accounts for Chameleon Capital, its parent entity.

Filings for Chameleon state that Mr McCreevey, who maintained a high media profile after his Apprentice stint, has been made redundant. As part of his exit package he is being allowed to keep his company car and will also receive a severance payment and pension plan contribution.

The documents also say his 50 per cent stake in National Beauty Distribution is to be sold to Onbrand Investments, a Cork company whose shares are wholly owned by Mr Walsh, according to its filings at the Companies Registration Office. The deal is being backed by Bank of Ireland.

Cork-based National Beauty Distribution employs more than 30 staff. It describes itself as “the leading importer and wholesaler of products to the beauty and cosmetics industry in Ireland”.

Its products are prominent on social media among ‘influencers’, and have also been promoted by celebrities such as television presenter Vogue Williams.

Mr McCreevey’s LinkedIn profile confirms he has left the business he co-founded. He could not be reached for comment.

Mr Walsh said: “All I can comment on is that Will has exited the business by way of selling his shares to me to allow him to focus his time on his young family.”