Home Estate Planning  Zuber Issa exploring £500m sale of Asda stake in split with brother

 Zuber Issa exploring £500m sale of Asda stake in split with brother

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One of the billionaire Issa brothers, who together co-own Asda alongside a private equity firm, is reportedly trying to offload his stake in the supermarket as it grapples with a mounting debt pile.

Zuber Issa has discussed selling his 22.5 per cent stake with buyout advisors and retailers as recently as last week, according to The Telegraph.

He acquired his shareholding in Asda in a £6.8bn deal alongside his older brother Moshin and private equity firm TDR Capital in 2021.

The newspaper reported that Zuber had signalled a wish to focus on EG Group – the brothers’ original business operating petrol stations and takeaways, which he founded in 2001. TDR acquired a 50 per cent stake in EG Group in 2015.

Zuber has reportedly said he wants to offload his stake to another investor at a price upwards of £500m.

The paper reported that a sale of Zuber’s stake would need to be approved by both Moshin and TDR.

City sources speculated to The Telegraph that Zuber could use money from the sale to buy his brother out of EG Group.

Following media reports last month, Zuber has confirmed that he is in a romantic relationship with a former partner at EY, which quit as Asda’s auditor last summer.

Despite filings showing that she left the firm the day after EY quit, EY said its departure was tied to a restructure of the brothers’ companies. It added that the partner never did any work related to Asda’s audit.

Asda is battling a mountain of debt, inflationary pressures and falling market share. The company’s debt pile currently stands at some £4.2bn after it took out more loans to acquire EG Group’s UK arm last year.

MPs have raised concerns over the group’s leverage and sprawling ownership model, as well as suggestions it was using Jersey-based vehicles for tax purposes.

Asda and TDR declined to comment when approached by City A.M.

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