BLACKBURN’S billionaire Issa brothers- Mohsin and Zuber are eyeing Walmart-owned supermarket Asda.
The petrol station billionaires are in the race with some of the world’s largest buyout funds in the battle to acquire the Leeds based supermarket.
The duo is considering to bid on the American business giant through their EG Group, according to media reports.
Walmart announced last week that it was talking to interested groups about offloading a stake in Asda.
In a joint statement from Asda and Walmart, the two companies said: “Following inbound interest, Walmart and Asda can confirm that we are considering whether there is an opportunity for a third party to invest in Asda, alongside Walmart, in order to support and accelerate the delivery of Asda’s strategy and position Asda for long-term success.
“Together, we are in discussions with a small number of interested parties who share Walmart and Asda’s commitment and passion to growing the business – and who share our values, both for our customers and colleagues.”
The two businesses didn’t reveal any information on ongoing discussions.
Commenting on the ongoing discussions, the statement further noted: “No decisions have been made, and we will not be commenting further on these discussions…”
A purchase of Asda, one of Britain’s biggest forecourt operators, could hand EG control of more than 300 petrol stations.
According to reports, the private equity firms Apax Partners and KKR, the former Boots owner, have held discussions with Walmart.
There were reports that American fund Blackstone may also make a move for Asda.
Backed by private equity firm TDR Capital, EG has built a forecourt empire across nearly 6,000 locations.
The siblings opened their first site in Bury in 2001.
Their company is also the world’s third-largest convenience store operator, serving 17 million customers globally.
Their business includes a mixture of petrol stations and standalone sites.
The ‘EG’ in Zuber and Mohsin Issa’s globally successful EG Group stands for ‘Euro Garages’ and sounds impressively strategic, yet their multi-billion-pound business began with the opening of a single forecourt on Brandlesholme Road, Bury, in 1995.
The brothers were placed in the ninth position in the Eastern Eye Asian Rich List 2019 with an estimated worth of £1.5 billion.
The Asian Rich List profiles the top 101 wealth creators of Asian origin in Britain.
Meanwhile, Walmart said last week that a float was its favoured option. “Walmart firmly believes that an IPO is an attractive long-term objective for Asda.”
Asda has hired Rothschild to advise on a sale or stock market float.