What's happening with Asda/EG Group (Issa Brothers)?

Rhetorical question (prompted by @HendrikLaubscher).

Are the Issa brothers the successors the Phillip Green? Will Asda have the same outcome as BHS/Arcadia (or Sears/Kmart) in 20 years time?

Asda price: how buyers bagged a £6.8bn supermarket chain for £200mn (FT-Paywall)

At the time of the acquisition (2021) BBC reported the money outlaid by EG Group for the Asda deal as £780mn, but in an era of cheap money the debt load (from TDR) and lease payments on the warehouses left a float of £500m.

  • Has the interest bill increased?
  • Has Walmart sold their 20% stake (yet)? if not yet, when? (I haven’t looked through recent Walmart financial filings to see if they are still carrying that stake as an asset)
  • the wider EG group has also bough a lot of filling stations across Europe using TDR money, and has a few in the US as well.
  • have Asda/EG group finished extracting from Walmart’s systems (2 year deadline–apparently lots of work happening quietly, one of the big SIs involved but hasn’t resulted in a lot of job postings for the locations in the north of the UK)

Now we are seeing more activity: This confirmed (and may make some strategic sense–expanding the existing chain of fuel stations with attached convenience)

(Asda also franchising/wholesaling to other stations, e.g. Esso)

CoOp (national “blue”) has been struggling for a while so it makes sense they would sell assets to improve their balance sheet.

And now the wild and whacky (if this is to be believed, not sure that I do)

WTF–buying into a struggling global fast food chain, even if they could roll it out across their filling stations and stores around the world, that’s hardly a reason, they could clone the business cheaper? Bold turnaround play at best, major management distraction otherwise.

This reads like how the Glazers bought Manchester United - heavily leveraged. The more significant challenge is that ASDA is in a sector with severe competition and has struggled the last 18 months.


Asda has been struggling for a lot longer than 18 months, which is why WalMart sold the business.

A chunk of their customer base switched to Aldi/Lidl.