A CONSULTATION has been launched on the Issa brothers' plans to sell 27 petrol stations as part of their Asda takeover.

The Blackburn-based EG Group founders made the offer to sell the forecourts after the Competition and Markets Authority warned that the deal could lead to a lack of competition in the UK forecourts market, given that the brothers already own 395 around the country, while Asda owns 323.

In response, the CMA has launched a consultation on the brothers' offer to allay these concerns by selling some of their forecourts, as a way of avoiding a full-blown investigation into the deal.

In a joint statement issued when they first offered to sell the site, Mohsin and Zuber Issa said: "Over the coming months, we are confident that we will be able to agree a sale to suitable operators to take over all identified sites, and we will share more information in due course."

The Blackburn brothers first launched their takeover of the supermarket chain alongside partners TDR Capital in Autumn last year.

However, the CMA said in April that they are investigating the deal because many of Asda’s and EG Group's petrol stations are located in the same parts of the UK, raising concerns about potential overlaps.

The regulator added that it has also found that the deal raises local competition concerns in relation to the supply of road fuel in 36 areas across the UK and the supply of a specific type of fuel, called auto-LPG, in a further area.

Speaking at the time of the announcement, CMA senior director of mergers Joel Bamford said: "Our job is to protect consumers by making sure there continues to be strong competition between petrol stations, which leads to lower prices at the pump.

"These are two key players in the market, and it’s important that we thoroughly analyse the deal to make sure that people don’t end up paying over the odds.

“Right now, we’re concerned the merger could lead to higher prices for motorists in certain parts of the UK.

"However, if the companies can provide a clear-cut solution to address our concerns, we won’t carry out an in-depth phase two investigation.”

As such, earlier this month, the CMA identified a list of 36 potential sites that the brothers could sell off around the country.

These included forecourts in Blackpool, Lancaster and Burscough.

The deadline for comments on the CMA's consultation is set for June 4 2021.