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Blackburn-based tycoons the Issa Brothers have hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons again after it was revealed that they took loans from EG to buy two high spec private jets.  

The Financial Times is reporting this morning that EG lent Mohsin and Zuber Issa’s Isle of Man registered personal private jet companies, Clear Sky 1 and Clear Sky 2, $7million in 2022, backed up by corporate filings, in addition to €39million in unsecured loans it lent them to buy the jets in 2018.

In a report on Roseanna Lockwood’s show on TalkTV last night, to which contributed, EG responded with a statement denying any wrongdoing: “As previously disclosed to the Financial Times in 2022, loans to Clear Sky are fully disclosed in the EG Group accounts and continue to be so. These loans have been provided at rates comparable to the average commercial rate of interest. The interest has been identified and recognised within EG Group’s finance income.”

The news comes off the back of further speculation that the brothers, founders of petrol forecourts business EG and recent highly leveraged acquirers of supermarket chain Asda appear to be on the verge of a split.

The younger of the two brothers Zuber, and the founder of Blackburn-headquartered EuroGarages, has been widely reported to be seeking a buyer for his 22.5% stake in Asda, which he secured after a £6.8bn private equity purchase backed by TDR Capital three years ago.

It has been reported that Zuber wants to concentrate his attention back on EG Group.

The recent parliamentary business select committee hearings, which Mohsin gave evidence at, confirmed the complexity of the ownership structures of Asda and EG, and any process to extricate any party would need to deal with lock-in agreements with his brother and TDR.

Media speculation has also focused on the breakdown of Mohsin’s marriage and a new relationship with a former tax partner from EY which has apparently “sent shockwaves” through the wider Issa family.

The Issas acquired Asda with £100m of cash, the same amount from TDR Capital, with the rest funded by the largest sterling corporate bond sale ever completed.

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