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July 19, 2010

UK: Ocado reveals customer share response

Only "several thousand" eligible Ocado customers have reportedly invested in the UK online grocer's shares ahead of its planned stock market flotation.

Only “several thousand” eligible Ocado customers have reportedly invested in the UK online grocer’s shares ahead of its planned stock market flotation.

The number of customers who have bought shares represents around 3% of Ocado’s customer base.

Speaking to The Guardian, finance director Andrew Bracey denied that the take up had been a disappointment.

The offer, aimed directly at Ocado’s customers, is thought to have raised between GBP6-10m (US$9.2-15.3m), far short of the GBP50m maximum the directors had set.

The shares will be priced tomorrow (20 July), but are expected to be set at the lower end of a 200p-275p price band amid some claims among analysts that Ocado’s directors had overvalued the business.

The online grocer is now likely to float with a value closer to GBP800m than the GBP1.1bn the directors were aiming for.

The news follows much controversy surrounging the IPO, including claims that without its successful flotation, Ocado would struggle to continue as a going concern.

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