ISSA brothers are believed to be weighing their options to sell their fuel stations in Australia.
The Blackburn-based co-owners of EG Group hired advisers to trim their petrol station portfolio, a step that, if successful, would help them partly retire their debt, according to media reports.
They snapped up 540 fuel convenience sites Down Under from Woolworths in a £910-million deal about two years ago, before their unsuccessful attempt to acquire 2,000 filling stations of Caltex Australia.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa also inorganically expanded their business empire by acquiring the Asda supermarket chain from Walmart and buying out fast food restaurant chains.
It was reported last week that Canadian multinational Alimentation Couche-Tard evinced interest to buy EG Group’s fuel stations.
EG Group, however, refused to confirm or deny the reports, saying it “regularly works with its advisers to explore a wide range of options to create value in its portfolio.”
As the recent acquisitions by the brothers pose legal hurdles in selling their UK business, any sales are expected to be restricted to its international operations.
Having started their fuel retail business in the early 2000s when they bought their first fuel station in Bury, Greater Manchester, the billionaire brothers along with TDR Capital own a network of 6,000 forecourts across Europe and the US and Australia.