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Billionaire Issa brothers honoured a week after £6.8bn Asda takeover

Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

Billionaire brothers Zuber and Mohsin Issa have been handed royal honours a week after snapping up supermarket giant Asda in a £6.8 billion deal.

The Issa brothers are among a number of bosses made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, as they were hailed for services to business and charity for their work leading petrol forecourt operator EG Group.

The billionaires made their fortunes after successfully transforming their business from one rented petrol station into a network of almost 6,000 forecourts across 10 countries over the past 20 years.

Last week, the Blackburn-based pair revealed they will take the reins at Asda after winning a multibillion-pound auction to buy the UK grocery chain from Walmart.

On Friday, Asda confirmed the brothers and private equity backers TDR Capital agreed the takeover deal, committing to keep the Leeds quarters and vowing to invest more than £1 billion into the retailer over the next three years.

Emma Walmsley, CEO of GSK
Emma Walmsley, chief executive of GSK, becomes a dame (GSK/PA)

Elsewhere, GlaxoSmithKline boss Emma Walmsley is made a dame for services to the pharmaceutical industry and business after leading the UK’s biggest drugs manufacturer for the past three years.

As chief executive, Ms Walmsley has also been instrumental to the company’s involvement in international efforts to develop a vaccine.

Property tycoon Tony Gallagher has been given a knighthood in relation to his service to “land development and the property business”.

The founder of Gallagher Estates is a friend of former prime minister David Cameron and a major donor to the Conservative Party.

Fashion entrepreneur Paul Smith has also been recognised on the annual list, being named as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.

There are also honours for a raft of business leaders recognised for their achievements in the utilities sector.

Richard Flint, who recently retired as Yorkshire Water’s chief, Olivia Garfield, chief executive at Severn Trent, and Chris Jones, who stepped down as chief of Welsh Water last year, all become CBEs.