EG Group’s Issa brothers likely to take over Asda from Walmart

Zuber (L) and Mohsin Issa

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the brothers behind the forecourt operator EG Group, are likely to take over Asda supermarket from Walmart, reports said.

The Indian-origin brothers, working with private equity firm TDR Capital, have been emerged as top bidders valuing the supermarket chain at a reported £6.5 billion.

If the deal is through, Asda could return to UK ownership in two decades. The supermarket has been owned by US giant Walmart since 1999.

Their parents came to the UK from Gujarat, India, in the 1960s. They attended their local comprehensive school in Blackburn while their father worked in a textile factory.

Initially called Euro Garages, the Issa brothers founded the Blackburn-based group in 2001, expanding it from a single site in Bury, Greater Manchester to almost 6,000 sites across 10 countries.

The brothers each own a quarter of £10 billion EG Group. TDR Capital now owns half of the group.

The recent acquisitions of the group include forecourt groups in the US and Australia, Little Chef roadside cafes and a major Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise in the UK.

In 2019 the business reported revenues of more than €20bn (£17.9bn). The Issa brothers were placed in the ninth position in the Eastern Eye Asian Rich List 2019 with an estimated worth of £1.5 billion.

Walmart is selling a majority stake in Asda after a merger with Sainsbury’s was blocked on competition grounds and is expected to retain a minority stake in the supermarket as part of the deal.

Recently, Asda said that it will expand into convenience sector, trialing the “Asda On the Move” concept at three of EG Group’s fuel station forecourts in Ashby, Leamore and Primley in the Midlands.