Issa brothers used EG Group funds to repay private jet loans as Asda workers threaten strike action

Figures for loans being taken from the Issa brother’s own company have been revealed with potential strikes looming for Asda stores across the country.
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Back in 2022, the billionaire brothers from Blackburn borrowed £5.6 million from their company EG Group to repay the debt taken on to buy two private jets as reported by The Financial Times.

The findings show that Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who bought Asda in 2020, transferred £4m to one of their companies which controls a Bombardier Global 6000 plane

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The remaining £1.6m went to another one of their companies, which owns a smaller Bombardier plane with both companies being registered in the Isle of Man.

The two companies that the Issa brothers had bought jets for were given a £33m unsecured, interest-free loan to buy the jets back in 2018. 

Money was also borrowed from the Bank of America, which has security over the two planes.

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the majority stakeholders of Asda.Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the majority stakeholders of Asda.
Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the majority stakeholders of Asda.

The FT reported that the new loans made in 2022 would be enough to cover all but £1m of the amount EG reported it received in interest repayments from the two companies that year. 

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EG Group said: “As previously disclosed to the Financial Times in 2022, loans to the companies are fully disclosed in the EG Group accounts and continue to be so.

“These loans have been provided at rates comparable to the average commercial rate of interest. The interest has been identified and recognised within EG Group’s finance income.”

A source said the loans were due to be repaid in full by November.

This news comes at a worrying time for the Issa brothers whose ownership of Asda has come under increasing scrutiny over the past month as well as dealing with a rift between the two.

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GMB union, which has a large number of Asda workers apart of it, has said that employees are frustrated in several stores across the country with working conditions.

This has resulted in union members deciding whether they wish to take strike action due to a list of problems in certain supermarkets, including health and safety issues, fire safety breaches, cuts in working hours and a lack of adequate training.

The union have alleged that the numerous issues across Asda stores are a result of “cost-cutting” by bosses as it tries to service its mountain of debt.

Speaking to Retail Week, GMB London regional officer Keith Dixon said: “I’m not saying it was perfect five years ago but it was better.

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“These things are happening on a daily basis and our concern is that it is getting worse, colleagues want something to happen now.”

You can read more about the ongoing family rift between the Issa brother which is threatening their Asda ownership here.

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