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Asda Billionaire Zuber Issa Seeks to Sell Stake as Focus Shifts to Petrol Stations and Takeaways

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Asda Billionaire Zuber Issa Seeks To Sell Stake As Focus Shifts To Petrol Stations And Takeaways

One of the billionaire Issa brothers is exploring the possibility of selling his 22.5% stake in Asda, as he aims to refocus his attention on their original business ventures in petrol stations and takeaways. Zuber Issa, aged 51, has reportedly approached buyout firms and retailers to discuss the potential sale, just three years after acquiring the stake in a £6.8bn deal alongside his older brother Mohsin and private equity firm TDR Capital.

Sources familiar with the matter have revealed that Zuber has expressed his preference for another investor to join TDR and Mohsin for the next phase of Asda, which may involve an ambitious bid for the high street chemist Boots. The discussions regarding the sale have been ongoing over the past week, with Zuber seeking a valuation of his stake at over £500m.

Zuber could potentially sell his stake to TDR Capital, taking into account the private equity firm’s existing 50% stake in EG Group, although their offer might be lower than that of an outside investor. This prospective exit for Zuber could signify a partial separation of interests for the Issa brothers, leading to speculation that he might use the proceeds to buy out Mohsin from EG Group.

Mohsin, the current CEO of Asda, is facing a new chapter in his personal life, as he confirmed his relationship with Leanne Price, a former EY partner. These potential changes come at a time of considerable upheaval within Asda and the wider Issa brothers empire. Asda has been grappling with mounting debt and falling market share, with concerns prompting MPs to call Mohsin for questioning on multiple occasions. Recent events have led to senior industry insiders suggesting that TDR is looking to replace Mohsin with a CEO possessing more experience in the grocery sector.

TDR, alongside Mohsin and Zuber, has played a key role in the takeover of Asda and holds a controlling stake in the company. The Issa brothers have used their wealth to construct identical mansions and are also involved in building a £5m mosque through their Issa Foundation. Neither Asda nor TDR have commented on the matter at present.

Rachel Adams

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