Issa brother stepping back from Asda after helping ‘fix’ the grocery giant following EG Group funded takeover

After much scrutiny over their Asda takeover, one of the Issa brothers is handing over the reign of the global supermarket.
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Mohsin Issa, one of the "billionaire brothers" behind Asda's ownership, intends to hand over the running of the UK's third-largest supermarket.

The Issa brothers, Mohsin, 51, and Zuber, 50, from Blackburn acquired Asda from Walmart in February 2021 after growing their company Euro Garages (later named EG Group) since 2001.

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This purchase of Asda resulted in the wealth of the brothers being estimated at around £5billion which named them as the 40th wealthiest people in the country.

Yet the brothers have endured a strained relationship recently after Mohsin is said to have caused a rift after his marriage came to an end.

Speaking to the BBC, Mohsin said he was carrying out a "reset" at the grocer before appointing a chief executive.

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Despite Asda's £5bn debt pile, Mr Issa said he was "here for the long haul".

He also dismissed rumours of a rift with his brother Zuber, saying the pair "get on exceptionally well".

He said: “We talk to each other probably two or three times a day. We've been very, very privileged. We have been on a journey and we have got a long way still to go.

“We have had a sense of luck as we have been in the right place at the right time and taken advantage of some of these opportunities."

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As of today the EG Group empire has over 6,000 convenience and petrol stations across 10 countries with some including the likes of Starbucks, Greggs and Subway at various sites.

Mohsin is known as the details man out of the brothers, who manages the running of Asda while his brother Zuber focuses on the EG Group side of business.

The entrepreneur’s main mission with Asda has been expansion as he created Asda Express in order to compete with other supermarket rivals. 

On Thursday, Mr Issa opened the latest Asda Express, but the company has already converted some 110 former Co-op and EG stores to Asda Express in February alone. 

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The firm will have amassed 470 convenience stores in the UK by the end of March.

Mohsin said: "Did I ever think I'd be in a business the size and scale of this? Absolutely not." 

“I just had that vision of running my own business and I always had that determination of trying to control my own destiny."

The Issa brother’s reign over Asda has not been without its criticism however as their £4.9bn debt pile as well as higher interest rates have prompted fears over the company's ability to pay loans off.

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Competitors Aldi and Lidl have been attracting more customers in recent times which has led to Asda losing market share especially as the cost of living increases.

Despite this Mohsin and Asda have claimed that 90% of its debt is fixed and that the store has more than sufficient headroom to service increasing interest rates.

When it comes to Asda, Mr Issa said he felt a responsibility to make sure he was a "great custodian at the brand". 

He said there were no more business deals on the cards for now, but added "never say never".

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He said: "When you're fortunate enough to see the opportunities and have the ability to execute them and be part of a plan and then move on to the next thing then that's something that I will always look to do.

"That's the entrepreneur. That's in your DNA."

You can read the full interview and piece by the BBC here.

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