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Billionaire Asda owners now biggest European KFC operators with 52 new outlets

Mirror logo Mirror 27/09/2021 Sam Barker

The billionaire brothers who own Asda have just bought 52 branches of KFC in the South and South-West.

Super-rich brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa own EG Group, which has just bought the restaurants from Amsric Group.

The 52 branches employ more than 1,600 staff and include traditional KFC sit-down restaurants and drive-through outlets.

In March last year EG bought 146 KFCs and one Pizza Hut from The Herbert Group.

The Amsric deal makes EG the biggest KFC franchise owner in Western Europe, it said, and means it now controls more than 220 of the fried chicken restaurants.

A joint statement from the Issa brothers said: "We have seen a marked upward trend in the performance of our existing KFC network and this has given us confidence to consider and invest in more assets.

“The network we have acquired is a strong portfolio of assets and we are looking forward to working with the Amsric management team and KFC to ensure a smooth transition for the teams and an effectively managed transfer of operations and assets.”

Amsric Group managing director Ragin Patel said: "As a family-managed business, we take a people-first approach and wanted to ensure our KFC network went to a new owner who is committed to investing in the network and allowing our employees to realise opportunities for professional growth."

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EG Group owns 6,000 forecourts, as well as various fast food brands in Europe and the US.

The company is valued at around £10.8billion.

In October 2020 the Issa brothers bought supermarket giant Asda for £6.8billion , alongside TDR.

Under the deal the previous Asda owner, American retail giant Walmart, kept an investment in Asda's 631 stores.

However, the majority of the chain will be run by its new consortium of owners.

Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, started out in a garage which their dad, who had worked in a woollen mill, bought.

They branched out on their own, first renting a petrol station for two years, then in 2001 buying their first forecourt, a derelict freehold site in Bury, and formed Euro Garages.

Their empire, the EG Group, now has almost 6,000 sites across 10 countries, from the UK to the US and Australia, runs outlets for Greggs, Starbucks and KFC, and employs 44,000 people.

In 2017, it bought 77 Little Chef roadside restaurants.

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

“We’ve been on the pumps, we’ve been stocking the shelves, cleaning the toilets. You do everything.

“And once you do the foundation work, it’s no different wherever you go in the world. It’s a petrol station; you’re selling fuel, you’re selling coffee, you’re selling convenience.”

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

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

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

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