Two self-made billionaire petrol tycoon brothers have agreed to buy Asda from Walmart for £6.8billion to bring the supermarket back under British control.
Mohsin Issa, 49, and his brother Zuber, 48, from Blackburn, stunned the City by being named as lead bidders to take over the retail giant alongside private equity firm TDR Capital, and concluded the deal today.
The new owners have committed to keeping the retailer's headquarters in Leeds and has said it will invest to grow its convenience and online operations. Walmart will retain a minority stake in Asda as part of the agreement.
It is the latest stage in the brothers' extraordinary rags to riches story, which saw them turn a single petrol station in Bury into an empire of 5,900 branches.
The duo, whose parents came to Britain from India 'with nothing', built EG Group - previously known as Euro Garages - from one site bought for £150,000 in 2001 into a £9billion giant employing 44,000 staff.
The brothers are now worth an estimated £3.56bn, including a £25m Kensington townhouse and a private jet that is kept in a hangar at Blackpool Airport alongside Donald Trump's personal helicopter.
They are also building five identical mansions just three miles from the £115,000 Blackburn two-up two-down where they were raised. Mohsin is expected to live there with his wife, Shamim with whom he shares two grown-up children.
Today's deal comes more than a year after a proposed merger between Asda and UK supermarket rival Sainsbury's was torpedoed by regulators.
Mohsin Issa, 49, (left) and his brother Zuber, 48, whose parents came to Britain from India 'with nothing', built EG Group from one site bought for £150,000 in 2001 into a £9billion giant employing 44,000 staff
The brothers holding trophies at an awards ceremony in London in 2018, which saw them named EY Entrepreneur of the Year
1970s - Mohsin and Zuber Issa's parents arrive to the UK from Gujurat, India and the brothers are born not long afterwards in Blackburn, Lancashire.
They work at their parents' petrol station before it closes.
2001 - The brothers buy their first filling station in Bury, Greater Manchester.
2015 - Private equity firm TDR Capital acquire a 50% stake in their Euro Garages chain.
2017 - Euro Garages buys EFR Group, a Dutch-based forecourt operator, and is renamed EG Group. The new company buys 1,000 garages from Esso in Germany.
2018 - EG Group announces it will buy 800 Kroger convenience stores in he US before buying 1,200 sites in Italy from Esso. Later that year it buys 97 fuel stations in the Netherlands and 540 from the Australian retailer Woolworths.
2019 - In another US expansion, EG buys 54 Fastrac sites in the US and 69 from Certified Oil.
2020 - EG becomes KFC's largest franchisee in Europe after buying 145 KFC outlets in the UK & Ireland.
As the children of immigrants who moved to Blackburn from Gujurat, India, in the 1970s, Mohsin and Zuber Issa - who were born in the former mill town - quickly learned the importance of hard work.
Their first experience of business was selling petrol from their parents' filling station, where they would have their big idea that would revolutionise the industry and make their millions.
Petrol sales were in decline and fuel duty on the rise, cutting into already wafer-thin fuel margins and leading to hundreds of operators leaving the market.
At the time most garages - if they sold food at all - offered a measly selection of pre-packaged sandwiches, crisps, sweets and chocolate.
But the Issas realised fuel sales still had a purpose in creating a captive market at petrol stations, who could then be offered appetising food rather than the gruel offered elsewhere
The brothers struck franchise agreements with brands including Starbucks, Subway and KFC, before embarking on a buying spree to snap up sites that had previously become vacant.
They now own Europe's largest forecourt operator, Euro Garages, which in 2019 reported revenues of more than £17.9bn.
The firm is now the largest Subway franchisee in Europe and earlier this year bought a group of 146 KFC stores.
Describing the secret of their success, Zuber told the Financial Times: 'We wanted to create a destination where you could get fuel, food-to-go and shopping.
'This is the formula and it works.
'We were fortunate that the big players were leaving the market just as we were growing.'
TDR Capital - a London investment firm behind We Buy Any Car and David Lloyd gyms - bought a 50% stake in EG Group in 2015. The Issas retain the remaining 50%.
The £115,000 terraced house where the brothers grew up in Blackburn. They were born in the town after their parents moved from Gujurat, India
A wider view of the road in Blackburn where the brothers grew up. Their company is still based in the town
They are now worth an estimated £3.56bn, including a £25m Kensington townhouse (pictured) and a private jet that is kept in a hangar at Blackpool Airport alongside Donald Trump's personal helicopter
1950s: The Asquith family (W.R. Asquith) open a butcher's shop in Knottingly, West Yorkshire, which was eventually expanded to seven shops.
1958: They travel to the USA to visit Piggly Wiggly, probably the world's first supermarket.
1963: The Asquiths open the UK's first self-service supermarket in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.
The first Asda supermarket, which was opened in 1965 in Wakefield, West Yorkshire
1965: Peter Asquith