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Issa brothers eye up Caffe Nero

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the owners of British petrol retailing company EG Group, are rumored to have proposed a takeover bid for struggling highstreet chain, Caffe Nero.

According to Sky News, the offer comes hours before the brand is set to request approval from landlords to cut the price of its rents. 

Under the proposal, the coffee chain landlords would see that the rent owed to them during the Covid-19 pandemic would be paid in full.

Insiders are said to have told Sky that EG’s bid could see the coffee chain put a halt to the CVA vote. 

Since October there has been much speculation about the financial stability of Caffe Nero. Earlier this month founder of the company Gerry Ford confirmed plans that the company would enter into a CVA to “better manage” its fixed costs in the future going forward. 

At the time he said the proposal was a necessary option “to safeguard the future of the business”.

The CVA vote is scheduled to close Monday evening, having drawn attraction from the real estate group, British Property Federation, who Sky said have accused the company of “weaponizing the insolvency tool”.

Alcentra and Partners Group have reportedly been drafted in by FTI Consulting to advise the group.

The latest bid reportedly underlines the brothers’ reputation as “relentless entrepreneurs”, who have already created a group that employs over 44,000 people worldwide.

In September 2020, Issa secured a deal with the backing of TDR Capital to purchase Asda for £6.8bn, protecting the retailer’s workforce.

Catering Today has contacted EG and Caffe Nero for a comment. 

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