Ocado "close" to appoint advisers

Ocado "close" to appoint advisers

UK online grocer Ocado has remained silent over reports that its plans to float on the London Stock Exchange are under threat.

The blow comes as reports today (15 February) suggested Waitrose plans to launch its own competing home-delivery service within two years.

Ocado, which is 30% owned by Waitrose parent the John Lewis Partnership, currently delivers Waitrose products.

Ocado first announced it was targeting a float on the stock exchange in June last year. It is understood the firm is now close to appointing advisers and is hoping to raise an initial GBP160m (US$251m) from the flotation.

The firm is currently on a five-year supply agreement with Waitrose, which will be due for renewal in 2014.

A spokesperson for Waitrose told just-food: “We are very supportive of any Ocado IPO, they are terrific partners.”

In the past five days, planned floats by Travelport, Merlin and New Look have all collapsed. The combined value was pitched at around GBP4bn.