A new £6.8 billion landmark deal has been agreed to officially place ASDA into the ownership of billionaire Issa brothers from Blackburn.
The reported multi-billion deal will see the supermarket chain under British ownership after 20 years.
Previous American-owner Walmart has accepted an offer from a consortium of Zuber and Mohsin Issa – of EG Group – and private equity firm TDR Capital, which meaning the supermarket chain will be majority owned by UK firms for the first time since 1999.
Roger Burnley – Chief Executive Officer of ASDA – said: “This new ownership opens an exciting new chapter in ASDA’s long heritage of delivering great value for UK shoppers.
“With our combined investment, expertise and ambition, ASDA, Walmart, the Issa brothers and TDR have an incredible opportunity to accelerate our existing strategy and develop an even more exciting offer for our customers as well as strengthen our business for our colleagues.
“In a constantly changing retailing environment, our new ownership will further enhance our resilience, whilst creating significant, additional opportunities to drive growth.
“For ASDA colleagues, a strong and growing business is important for our long-term future.”
Mohsin and Zuber Issa started out in a garage which their dad – who had worked in a woollen mill – bought and branched out on their own by first renting a petrol station for two years, then in 2001 buying their first forecourt – a derelict freehold site in Bury – and formed Euro Garages.
The EG Group now has almost 6,000 sites across 10 countries, from the UK to the US and Australia. It runs outlets for Greggs, Starbucks and KFC, and employs 44,000 people.
In 2017, the EG Group also bought 77 Little Chef roadside restaurants.
Speaking on the ASDA deal, Mohsin and Zuber Issa said: “We are very proud to be investing in ASDA, an iconic British business that we have admired for many years.
“ASDA customer-centric philosophy, focus on operational excellence and commitment to the communities in which it operates are the same values that we have built EG Group on [and ASDA’s] performance through the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fundamental strength and resilience of the business,
“We are excited to support Roger and his team as they continue to reposition the business to drive long-term growth.”
Zuber continued: “We grew [the EG Group] from nothing. We’ve been on the pumps, we’ve been stocking the shelves, cleaning the toilets. You do everything, and once you do the foundation work, it’s no different wherever you go in the world.
“It’s a petrol station – you’re selling fuel, you’re selling coffee, you’re selling convenience.”