Issa brothers could bring mini-Asdas to Europe

Asda’s billionaire owners could create convenience stores across Europe in what would be the group’s first international venture.

The Times reports that Mohsin and Zuber Issa are exploring whether “Asda on the Move” could open across their 3000 petrol stations on the continent.

It comes despite news that the brothers were preparing to offload their international forecourt business, EG Group.

Like Asda, the company is jointly owned by the Issas and private equity firm TDR Capital.

READ MORE: Issa brothers load Asda with £500m debt after petrol U-turn

The Issas plan to open 200 Asda on the Move stores in the UK by the end of next year, and are also thought to be considering new 30,000 to 40,000 square foot supermarkets.

However, the expansion would likely be complicated by the customs checks that have come into force since Brexit.

The bureaucratic chaos prompted Marks & Spencer to shut its 11 stores in France last month.

Last year’s Asda buyout dumped £3.7 billion onto the supermarket’s balance sheet, with the debt pile to be increased by £500 million after a sale of its petrol stations to EG fell through.

The owners are still searching for a new chief executive for the grocer after the departure of Roger Burnley in August.

In September, it was widely reported that the brothers were mulling selling off EG for £10.8 billion.

Their 534 petrol stations in Australia are expected to go first because they are a long way from the group’s other operations.

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