BLACKBURN’S billionaire Issa brothers have clinched their deal to buy Asda, it was announced today.

Current US owners Walmart have agreed to sell the supermarket giant to a group led by the EG Group petrol station tycoons in a £6.8 billion deal.

The success of the bid by Mohsin and Zuber Issa and their private equity partner TDR Capital returns the 71-year-old firm to British ownership after 21 years.

The brothers pledged to accelerate Asda’s strategy, building on the retail leader’s low-price heritage

Under the new ownership structure, the Issa brothers and TDR Capital are acquiring a majority ownership stake in Asda. Walmart will retain an equity investment in the business, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.

Asda will remain headquartered in Leeds, from where it built its heritage and roots.

The business will continue to be led by Roger Burnley who will form part of Asda’s Board alongside representatives appointed by the Issa brothers, TDR Capital and Walmart. 

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’s 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. Asda’s performance through the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the fundamental strength and resilience of the business, and we are excited to support Roger and his team as they continue to reposition the business to drive long-term growth.

“We believe that our experience with EG Group, including our expertise around convenience and brand partnerships and our successful partnership with TDR Capital, can help to accelerate and execute that growth strategy. After a successful period as part of Walmart we are looking forward to helping Asda build a differentiated business that will continue to serve customers brilliantly in communities across the UK.”

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Gary Lindsay at TDR Capital said: “Asda is a strong and well-managed business with one of the leading brands in UK retail. We are proud to be investing alongside Mohsin and Zuber, who have built EG Group into a global convenience retailer and will now bring that experience to bear at Asda.”

Mr Burnley 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.”    

Judith McKenna, president of Walmart International said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this deal today, which we believe creates the right ownership structure for Asda, building on its 71 year-heritage, whilst bringing a new entrepreneurial flair, not only to Asda."

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The Blackburn-born Issa brothers, among the richest families in the UK with an estimated worth in excess of £1billion, have recently been diversifying their interests from their main business involving almost 6,000 petrol stations and forecourt convenience stores across 10 countries worldwide.

Their first venture was buying a petrol forecourt in Bury in 2001 before expanding across East Lancashire and creating Euro Garages.

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The company – headquartered in a new £35m building off Blackburn’s Haslingden Road – merged with private equity firm TDR Capital’s European Forecourt Retail Group in 2016 to create the EG Group as it moved into Europe and the US.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete early next year.