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Indian-origin billionaires Issa brothers buy UK fast food chain Leon

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Indian-origin billionaire brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa have acquired a popular British fast food chain, Leon, as part of what they described as their goal to grow their foodservice operations in Britain.

The Issa brothers, whose parents moved to the UK from Gujarat in the 1970s, own the Euro Garages chain of petrol stations as part of their EG Group business. Last year, they acquired leading UK supermarket chain Asda from US owners Walmart as part of the strategy to expand their non-fuel business.

Leon, founded by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and chef Allegra McEvedy in 2004, pitches itself in the category of “naturally fast food” with a focus on creating a healthy menu that tastes good, in a sustainable way. The acquisition is said to be worth an estimated 100 million pounds.

“Leon is a fantastic brand that we have long admired. As established entrepreneurs in the foodservice retail market ourselves, we have a huge admiration for the business that John and the Leon team have built over the years, and firmly believe that their culture and values closely align with our own,” Mohsin and Zuber Issa, co-founders and co-CEOs of the EG Group were quoted by news agency PTI as saying.

“The acquisition of Leon presents EG Group with a fantastic opportunity to further develop the menu offer, the various concession formats including drive-throughs, and will enable us to significantly build on the existing network by exploring opportunities across our own sites along with other strategic locations,” they were further quoted as saying.

With an extensive network of over 70 restaurants, Leon has 42 company-owned restaurants operated on leasehold locations, with a strong presence in London as well as other large cities across the UK.

In addition, it has 29 franchised sites at key strategic transport hubs (mainly airports and train stations) across Britain and five other European markets, principally the Netherlands. Leon has also made itself accessible to consumers at home and generates significant revenue from its branded cookbooks, own brand groceries and provision of home delivery ready meals.

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Indiaretailing Bureau

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