Billionaire Asda brothers buy UKs second-biggest bakery – employing 1,600 staff – The Mirror

The EG Group, owned by Mohsin and Zuber Issa, has bought up Cooplands bakery – which runs 180 stores and cafes in the North and also operates three large bakeries

Brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa.
The billionaire Issa brothers paid an undisclosed sum for the Cooplands bakery (

Image: SWNS.com)

The billionaire Issa brothers – who own Asda – hace bought one of the UK’s biggest bakeries.

The EG Group did not say how much it paid for CS Food Group Holdings, which is behind Cooplands bakery.

CS owns three bakeries that process ingredients and manufacture fresh food.

Founded by Frederick and Alice Coopland in 1885, the company employs more than 1,600 people.

Cooplands food is sold to around 180 stores and cafes – which are mostly in the North East and Yorkshire, the Manchester Evening News reports .

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

But the buyout will see Cooplands food sold around the country, through the EG Group network of petrol station forecourts and shops.

In a joint statement, Zuber and Mohsin Issa said: “We are very pleased to welcome Cooplands’ many talented colleagues to the EG Group family.

A branch of Cooplands in Redcar
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Image:

Evening Gazette)

“Cooplands has a proven track record in the fresh bakery sector and vertical integration with EG Group will help to further drive our success in foodservice, where we continue to see strong growth opportunities in the UK and globally.”

Last year EG bought 146 KFC branches in the UK and Ireland, as well as restaurant chain Leon in April this year.

The company is also in a good position to buy coffee chain Caffe Nero after buying up the struggling coffee chain’s debts in April .

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

The sale included a £1billion cash injection for Asda and a pledge to deliver more “competitive prices” for fuel customers.

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.

The Issa brothers are from Blackburn, but their parents Vali and Zubeda initially lived in Bradford after moving to the UK from Gujarat in India during the 1970s to work in the textile industry.

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 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”.

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