Private equity group TDR Capital to take majority control of Asda

Zuber Issa to sell his 22.5% stake, while his brother Mohsin retains his 22.5% share

Zuber Issa (inset) is selling his 22.5% stake in Asda to funds managed by TDR Capital LLP. The deal will leave the UK-based private equity firm a 67.5% share of the retail business.
Zuber Issa (inset) is selling his 22.5% stake in Asda to funds managed by TDR Capital LLP. The deal will leave the UK-based private equity firm with a 67.5% share of the retail business.

Zuber Issa has sold his stake in Asda to the supermarket chain’s private equity backer TDR Capital.

The sale brings TDR Capital’s share in the supermarket group to 67.5%, while 22.5% is still owned by Zuber’s brother, Mohsin.

Asda is one of the largest private sector employers in Northern Ireland.

The last official measure of its workforce in 2021, put its headcount at 3,728.

The TDR deal is set to complete in the third quarter of this year, the company said on Friday.

Zuber and Mohsin Issa bought Asda from Walmart in 2020, in a £6.8 billion deal with the backing of TDR Capital. Walmart still holds a 10% stake.

The private equity firm is also heavily invested in the Issa brothers’ petrol station forecourts business, EG Group.

The Issa brother’s 2020 Asda deal came six months after their EG Group bought 146 KFC restaurants from Belfast couple Michael and Lesley Herbert.

Zuber has also announced he will also step down as co-chief executive of EG Group after reaching an agreement to buy its remaining UK forecourt business and some food service sites for £228 million.

EG Group said it will use the cash to repay debt and shore up its balance sheet.

Zuber will keep his shareholding in EG Group and continue as a non-executive director, while his brother Mohsin will become sole CEO.

Zuber Issa said: “With the divestment of my Asda shares, I will now turn my attention towards leading and managing the remaining EG UK forecourt sites that I have personally acquired, and spend more time on my charitable endeavours.

“I am pleased to see TDR increasing its investment in Asda. With Mohsin and TDR’s ongoing focus and shareholding, I am confident that Asda will achieve its growth ambitions.”

Gary Lindsay and Tom Mitchell, managing partners of TDR Capital, said: “We first invested into Asda over three years ago, seeing a huge opportunity to cement its position as one of the UK’s leading retail brands.”

“As majority owners, we will continue to work closely with the Asda management team and colleagues across the business to support the ambitious strategy, which we believe is the right one to continue to move Asda forward.”

The deal comes as Asda continues its hunt for a chief executive after Mohsin Issa handed over the running of the supermarket as part of a revamp of the chain.

Mohsin said earlier this year that he was carrying out a “reset” of the company before hiring a new chief.

In April, Asda revealed its underlying earnings swelled by a quarter last year with growth in food and clothing sales.

Meanwhile, a full planning application has been submitted by Celpark Limited to build a new Asda superstore and fuel forecourt at Ballydugan Retail Park in Downpatrick.

Asda was forced to shut its existing store at the site following severe flood damage in November 2023.

A temporary store has been erected at the retail park in the interim.