EG acquires LEON chain of restaurants

The Blackburn-based EG Group has acquired LEON Restaurants, which has 70 locations around the UK and Europe.

LEON's network consists of 42 company-owned restaurants operated on leasehold locations, with a particularly strong presence in London, and 29 franchised sites at key strategic transport hubs including airports and train stations across the UK and five other European markets.

The fresh fast food restaurant chain was founded by John Vincent, Henry Dimbleby and chef Allegra McEvedy in 2004, and has positioned itself as a pioneer in accessible healthy food which is also kind to the planet.

The acquisition is part of EG's strategy to expand its non-fuel portfolio, which before this acquisition included more than 700 foodservice outlets in the UK and Ireland.

EG Group now intends to invest in the LEON brand and broaden the current foodservice offer and open 20 new sites per year from 2022. LEON's non-restaurant products will also be made available at EG's convenience retail locations. 

Mohsin Issa and Zuber Issa, co-founders and co-CEOs, EG Group, 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."

John Vincent, CEO, LEON, said: “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."

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