Billionaire brothers raised in townhouse in Blackburn on the verge of buying Asda

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Two billionaire brothers raised in a townhouse in Blackburn are set to buy supermarket giant Asda.Self-taught tycoons Mohsin and Zuber Issa are part of a planned £ 6.5bn takeover of Britain’s third largest grocer.

An announcement could be made as early as this week.

That would cap a remarkable increase for brothers whose mother and father came to Britain from India in the 1960s with little to their name.

Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, started in a garage that their father, who had worked in a woolen mill, bought.

They branched out, first renting a gas station for two years, then in 2001 buying their first forecourt, an abandoned freehold site in Bury, and formed Euro Garages.



The brothers could be Asda’s new owners this week

Their empire, the EG Group, now has nearly 6,000 locations in 10 countries, from the UK to the US and Australia, operates outlets for Greggs, Starbucks and KFC, and employs 44,000 people.

In 2017, he purchased 77 Little Chef roadside restaurants.

Zuber said: “We grew up (EG) from nothing.

“We were on the pumps, we stocked the shelves, cleaned the toilets. You do it all.

“And once you do the foundational work, it’s no different wherever you go in the world. It is a gas station; you sell fuel, you sell coffee, you sell convenience. ”

Mohsin said the company “makes more money selling a cup of coffee than we would with an average tank fill.”



The modest house they grew up in, in Blackburn, Lancashire

Sources describe the low-key brothers as humble, with a strong connection to their Blackburn roots.

They have just opened a £ 35million headquarters in the city and in 2012 formed the local football team Euro Garages FC.

But the brothers, worth £ 3.56 billion, have spent other ways.

In 2017, they bought a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse in Kensington, London for £ 25million, which is now in the process of being converted into a luxury home.

Meanwhile, it’s just a 10 minute drive from the terraced streets of Blackburn to the wide open spaces of the town’s Millionaires Row overlooking the Lancashire Hills.

It is here that the siblings build five giant houses for themselves and their loved ones.

In a hairdressing salon on a sloping street where they once lived in a terraced house, the family is fondly remembered.



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“They are good people, a very nice family,” said one man.

“Zuber was coming here to have his hair cut. They are good people who worked hard.

As their gas station business began to expand after the turn of the millennium, Zuber and Mohsin wanted to stay in the same neighborhood and moved with their families to a large, newly built detached house a five-minute walk away.

Their parents still live in the area, close to the local mosque, but now it looks like they will be joining their sons in a row of five incredible mansions, with basement pools, on the outskirts of town.

The brothers also established the ISSA Foundation which funds health promotion, education and poverty alleviation projects in the UK and abroad and which has purchased an MRI scanner for Blackburn Royal Hospital.



EU fuel retailers have annual sales of £ 5 billion

Mohsin, who is married with two grown children, runs the day-to-day business, while Zuber is responsible for strategy and acquisitions.

However, the money for Asda’s redemption comes from their personal wealth.

Private equity firm TDR, which owns half of EG Group, is expected to invest a large part of it.

And it is believed that Asda’s parent company, US giant Walmart, will retain a stake, although the alleged sale price is £ 5 billion lower than the chain paid in 1999.

The sale came after a recent mega-merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda was blocked for competition reasons.

A man walking along the old terrace street Issas said: “They did very well but they stayed in Blackburn.

“People have talked about their purchase of Asda and are very happy with it.

“They are good like people and have done well. Good luck to them.

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