• Saturday, July 13, 2024

Commons panel seeks details of Issa brothers’ business structure

Business and Trade Committee chair asks for Mohsin’s comment on EG Group’s reported interest-free loans for the siblings to purchase private jets

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A COMMONS panel has sought details from Asda co-owners about the finances of their business empire, following concerns about the retailer’s ability to help its customers through cost-of-living pressures.

The entrepreneur Issa brothers – Mohsin and Zuber – together with the private equity firm TDR Capital bought Asda for an enterprise value of £6.8 billion in 2021. The UK business of the siblings’ forecourt chain EG Group was sold to the supermarket in a £2.3 bn deal earlier this year.

Business and Trade Select Committee chair Darren Jones has written to Mohsin asking him how the brothers’ acquisition of Asda was financed and if the reports of them getting interest-free loans from EG to buy private jets were true.

Jones also asked him to comment on the suggestion that the inter-company deal between Asda and EG Group was merely about “taking cash from Asda to pay off some of the debt you incurred” to buy the supermarket.

He said: “Prior to the purchase of EG Group by Asda, it was reported that EG Group lent you and your brother tens of millions of Euros in interest-free loans to purchase private jets. Can you confirm whether this report is accurate?”

Jones also sought to know if TDR Capital and EG Group bondholders were aware of the decision if the reports were true.

“Your choice of company structure makes it very difficult for anyone to understand where finance originates and then moves within your business, and what the implications might be for your customer base.”

The letter comes about a month after Mohsin gave evidence to the committee where the businessman was asked about the pricing of fuels at his forecourts and profit margins.

Jones also took note of Asda’s announcement about investing £23 million to reduce the cost of 425 products at its stores.

An Asda spokesman said the company would continue to “cooperate fully” with the committee’s inquiry.

“Asda’s owners are committed to the long-term sustainable growth of the business and are investing in both supporting customers and colleagues during these challenging times.”

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