Zuber Issa is reportedly in talks to offload 22.5 per cent share of supermarket Asda in parting of ways with co-owner brother Mohsin Issa.
According to report in Sunday Telegraph, Zuber has has approached buyout specialists and retailers to explore a sale of his 22.5 per cent shareholding in Asda just three years after he acquired it in a £6.8 billion deal alongside his older brother Mohsin and the private equity firm TDR Capital.
Zuber had indicated a desire to focus on EG Group, the Issa brothers’ Blackburn stronghold, states the report.
EG Group owns thousands of petrol stations around the world and was founded by Zuber in 2001. He brought Mohsin into the fold several years later and the business subsequently became the basis of a multibillion-pound family fortune.
His attempts to exit Asda at a price for his stake said to be “north of £500m” are complicated by so-called lock-in agreements with Mohsin and TDR. A sale would need to be approved by both.
A successful exit by Zuber would mark a partial parting of ways for the Issa brothers. City sources who have worked with them speculated that he could even use the proceeds to buy Mohsin out of EG Group and disentangle their fortunes. TDR is also a major shareholder in EG Group after acquiring a 50 per cent stake in 2015.
Zuber’s sale discussions are the latest sign of upheaval at Asda and the wider Issa brothers empire.
The ties between the brothers are deeply woven into their complex corporate structure, as they share directorships across a vast network of companies. Both are on the board of Asda and EG Group.