Two self-made Muslim billionaires from Blackburn have restored Asda giant supermarket chain to British ownership after the £6.8 billion takeover deal on Friday, October 2.
“We are very proud to be investing in Asda, an iconic British business that we have admired for many years,” said Mohsin and Zuber Issa in a statement, Lancashire Telegraph reported.
“Asda’s customer-centric philosophy, focus on operational excellence and commitment to the communities in which it operates are the same values that we have built EG Group on.
“After a successful period as part of Walmart, we are looking forward to helping Asda build a differentiated business that will continue to serve customers brilliantly in communities across the UK.”
The deal capped a remarkable rise for the brothers whose mother and father came to Britain from India in the 1960s with little to their name.
Mohsin, 49, and Zuber, 48, started in a garage which their dad bought. Later on, they branched out buying a garage which expanded to the formation of Euro Garages (EG).
Journey of Success
Almost two decades after forming EG in 2001, 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.
“We grew (EG) from nothing,” Zuber said.
“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”.
The brothers’ effort in Blackburn and the UK is not limited to business.
They have also set-up the ISSA Foundation which funds projects promoting health, education, and tackling poverty in UK and abroad. It also which bought an MRI scanner for Blackburn Royal Hospital.
Islam is the second largest religion in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Results from the UK 2011 Census giving the UK Muslim population in 2011 as 2,516,000, 4.4% of the total population.
According to the 2017 census, the proportion of Muslims in Blackburn is 30.9%. 20.4% of the district’s population belongs to any South Asian ethnic group, making it the highest percentage in the region.