EG Group presses ahead with Cinnabon expansion in the UK

Global petrol station forecourt operator continues Cinnabon’s UK expansion, marking the return of the US bakery chain since it left the market a decade ago

A Cinnabon store in the US | Photo credit: Cinnabon 



EG Group has opened three Cinnabon sites in Blackburn, Bolton and Knowsley, marking the US bakery chain’s return to the UK after it exited the market a decade ago.
 
EG Group, which is controlled by billionaire entrepreneurs Zuber and Mohsin Issa, announced plans in December 2020 to open 150 Cinnabon stores at petrol stations in the UK as part of a new partnership with the US bakery chain. The planned expansion is being supported by a Blackburn-based bakery and distribution centre launched in late 2020 that will support up to 50 Cinnabon stores.
 
EG Group operates a portfolio of more than 6,000 petrol station sites around the world, including 700 in the UK and Ireland with licensed branches of prominent brands including Starbucks, KFC, Cinnabon and Greggs.
 
The company has made strides into the UK branded coffee shop market in recent months, snapping up food-to-go and coffee chain Leon and positioning itself to acquire coffee chain Caffè Nero.
 
In April 2021, EG Group agreed to acquire UK food-to-go and coffee chain, Leon, which has around 42 company-owned and 29 franchise sites, for around £80-100m ($111m-139m). EG Group has stated its intention to open 20 Leon stores a year from 2022.
 
In November 2020, Caffè Nero rejected a bid by EG Group to take control of the company, with the coffee entering into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) deal in order to restructure debt and renegotiate rents.
 
However, EG Group is still vying to take control of Caffè Nero, with the Sunday Telegraph reporting the Issa brothers had purchased around £140m of the coffee chain’s debt from Swiss private equity firm Partners Group via investment bank Morgan Stanley.

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