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BLACKBURN’s billionaire Issa brothers have made a takeover bid for one of the UK’s largest coffee shop chains.
The offer of the founders of the EG Group, Mohsin and Zuber, for Caffe Nero is their latest daring step in expanding their business interests.
This is followed by her success in acquiring Asda from US supermarket giant Walmart for £ 6. 8 million deal in October with private equity partner TDR Capital.
The brothers wrote to Caffe Nero over the weekend to propose buying the chain from its founder and majority shareholder Gerry Ford.
The move came just hours before the ailing coffeeshop chain, which was badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and homework, sought landlords’ approval to reduce their rental costs.
According to the EC proposal, the landlords of Caffe Nero would be paid in full for rent arrears as a result of the Covid 19 crisis.
It is unclear what the exact terms of the offer and Mr Ford’s reaction are.
The Issa brothers, who grew up in the Brookhouse area of Blackburn, founded Euro-Garages in 2001 with a single gas station in Bury, which then developed into the international forecourt empire of the EG Group.
The offer underscores their growing reputation as successful entrepreneurs who, through their pursuit of growth, have a business portfolio of more than 44. 000 employees at 6. 000 locations in Europe, the USA and Australia.
Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn, Head of Growth for Darwen Council, said: “The ambitions of the Issa brothers continue to surprise everyone.
“If this offer is successful, it will be another feather in your cap and add more jobs to Blackburn can only be a good thing.
“They are becoming major economic drivers, and Blackburn can only do that well with Darwen. ”
Blackburn with Darwen Council Conservative group leader Cllr John Slater said, “This can only be good news.
“They obviously think there’s a business model for that. They have a world class track record. I wish you all the best. ”
Miranda Barker, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, said, “This makes a lot of sense because of your long-term partnership with Starbucks. Bringing the coffee option into the home is good business logic. This confirms their status as key players on the international business scene. ”
Last week the Issa brothers announced plans to build an « iconic » mosque on the recently vacated site of the former infant and the first school of Westholme School in Blackburn.
Caffe Nero’s lenders are expected to have a role to play in deciding the chain’s future. The company employs more than 5. 000 employees and, according to the company, serves 135 million customers annually.
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Caffè Nero, Mohsin Issa, EG Group, Zuber Issa, takeover, Gerry Ford
EbeneMagazine – GB – « This can only be good for Blackburn » via coffeeshop chain
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