The Issa brothers only bought Asda last year, but are now now considering selling it as part of offloading their EG Group retail empire – which also owns thousands of forecourts and convenience stores
The billionaire owners of Asda are thinking of selling their petrol station empire EG Group for as much as £10.8billion.
EG Group owns 6,000 petrol stations, as well as Asda and various fast food brands in Europe and the US.
Last year EG bought 146 KFC branches in the UK and Ireland, as well as restaurant chain Leon in April this year.
EG is now talking to advisers about several options, including a sale or a stock market flotation, according to Retail Gazette.
The company is valued at around £10.8billion.
A spokesperson for the group did not deny the rumours to The Mirror.
An EG Group spokesperson said: “EG Group regularly works with its advisers to explore a wide range of options to create value in its portfolio.”
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Possible interested buyers include the Japanese owners of 7-Eleven, Ito-Yokado.
Other likely suitors are the owners of the Circle K convenience stores, Alimentation Couche-Tarde.
TDR has been approached for comment.
In October 2020 the Issa brothers bought supermarket giant Asda for £6.8billion, alongside TDR.
The sale included a £1billion cash injection for Asda and a pledge to deliver more “competitive prices” for fuel customers.
Under the deal the previous Asda owner, American retail giant Walmart, kept an investment in Asda’s 631 stores.
However, the majority of the chain will be run by its new consortium of owners.
Then in February this year the Issas and TDR snapped up Asda’s petrol stations too.
They paid £750million to Walmart for the forecourts, which continue to be branded as ‘Asda’.
The Issa brothers are from Blackburn, but their parents Vali and Zubeda initially lived in Bradford after moving to the UK from Gujarat in India during the 1970s to work in the textile industry.
Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, started out in a garage which their dad, who had worked in a woollen mill, bought.
They branched out on their own, 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.
Their empire, the EG Group, now has almost 6,000 sites across 10 countries, from the UK to the US and Australia, runs outlets for Greggs, Starbucks and KFC, and employs 44,000 people.
In 2017, it bought 77 Little Chef roadside restaurants.
Zuber said: “We grew (EG) 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.”
Mohsin said the company “makes more money selling a cup of coffee than we would do on an average tank fill-up”.