Issa brothers mull $35bn Asda-EG Group merger

Mohsin and Zuber Issa

Blackburn-based billionaires the Issa brothers are considering merging their recently-acquired Leeds-based supermarket giant Asda with EG Group, their international chain of petrol stations and convenience stores, according to a Bloomberg report.

A merger of EG Group and Asda could value the combined business at around $35 billion including debt.

The report said the Issas are studying a range of strategic alternatives for EG Group, which they own together with buyout firm TDR Capital.

The Issa brothers and TDR Capital also worked together to complete the £6.8 billion acquisition of a majority ownership stake in Asda from Walmart Inc. earlier this year.

Walmart retains an equity investment in Asda, with an ongoing commercial relationship and a seat on the board.

Bloomberg reported there are a number of potential hurdles to an EG Group merger with Asda, and the owners could decide to pursue other options for the business.

They have also been weighing other options including a $2 billion sale of EG Group’s Australian assets or a public listing of the global petrol station chain.