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Issa Bros' EG Group Acquires British Baker Cooplands

The Issa brothers' EG Group petrol forecourt business has added to its acquisition spree by purchasing Cooplands, Britain's second-largest bakery chain.

EG Group, owned by Zuber and Mohsin Issa and private equity firm TDR Capital, said on Monday it has acquired CS Food Group Holdings Limited, which trades as Cooplands.

Cooplands operates three bakeries and runs about 180 stores and cafes, predominantly in northern England. It employs over 1,600 and is the country's second-largest bakery chain after Greggs.

The acquisition follows EG's purchase of the LEON fast food restaurant chain in May.

'Diversify The Cooplands Brand'

It said the transaction "will provide a platform to diversify the Cooplands brand into the transient petrol forecourt and retail convenience store channel, alongside the bakery chain’s traditional store formats, through EG Group’s extensive UK network."

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The brothers and TDR completed their purchase of a majority stake in Asda from Walmart in February in a deal valuing the supermarket group at £6.8 billion ($9.2 billion).

Then in a separate deal, EG Group bought Asda's 323 petrol forecourts for £750 million. In June, Britain's competition regulator accepted an offer from the new owners of the Asda supermarket chain to sell 27 petrol stations, in order to satisfy concerns that the takeover could lead to higher fuel prices.

Media reports have linked EG with either a trade sale or a public listing of its shares.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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