The Issa Brothers EG Group, which owns supermarket giant Asda, has bought the fast food chain Leon in a deal reported to be around £100 million.
Leon, founded in 2004 by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby, now food tsar to Boris Johnson and chef Allegra McEvedy.
In a statement, reported in The Lancashire Telegraph the co-CEOs of the EG Group, Mohsin Issa CBE and Zuber Issa CBE said: “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.
“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.”
John Vincent added: “In some ways this is a sad day for me, to part company with the business I founded 17 years ago in Carnaby Street. But I have had the pleasure of getting to know Mohsin and Zuber across the last few years.
“They have been enthusiastic customers of Leon, going out of their way to eat here whenever they visit London. They are decent, hard-working business people who are committed to sustaining and further strengthening the values and culture that we have built at Leon, a business that has my Dad’s name above the door.
“Mohsin and Zuber will not just be superb custodians of the Leon brand, through EG Group they have the vision, investment appetite, foodservice expertise and network scale to take Leon to many more people and places.
“This is what Leon has always been built for and I am confident under the new ownership, the brand will flourish and have even greater appeal to a broader customer base, especially outside of London.
“Thousands of people have been part of creating Leon experience. Each has left their mark, and I would like to thank everyone inside Leon, our partners and suppliers, and our guests who have visited us around 200 million times so far.
“We have tried hard, done some good things, made a healthy amount of mistakes, and built a business that quite a few people are kind enough to say that they love.”