Moshin and Zuber Issa, the billionaire brothers that are behind grocery retailer Asda, have made a fresh bid to take control of troubled coffee chain Caffe Nero. They are currently in talks with Alcentra and Partners Group to purchase company loans totalling £180m ($252m), the Sunday Telegraph first revealed.

City sources told the newspaper that the “aggressive move”, which would be made in partnership with TDR Capital, would leave Caffe Nero cornered if it were to default on its £350m debt pile. If the Issa brothers owned the loans it would leave them in a position to make a bid for control through a debt-for-equity swap. However, at this point in time there is no certainty that a deal will be agreed.

In November last year, EG Group, which is the petrol retailing giant led by the brothers, launched an initial takeover offer and wrote to the ailing retailer, proposing to buy Caffe Nero from Gerry Ford, founder and controlling shareholder.

The privately owned group, which is one of the biggest coffee shop operators in the UK, employs around 5,000 staff. It sought to reduce its rent with its landlords through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA).


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Source: Yahoo Finance

By LaToya Harding