Ocado, the online grocer, and French retail giant Carrefour have remained silent on speculation that the pair are engaged in talks over a potential partnership.

According to UK reports, executives from the two groups have met to discuss Ocado providing its software to facilitate the delivery of Carrefour products in France, beginning in Paris.

The joint venture has the potential to boost Carrefour's online sales in its domestic market.

A spokesperson for the French group declined to comment specifically on the reports, but confirmed that the group "understands" the importance of developing its online offering.

Ocado, which is preparing to float on the London Stock Exchange in 2010, declined to comment. According to reports, staff at the company - which currently delivers groceries for Waitrose - have been "sworn to secrecy".