Ocado, the online service that delivers Waitrose groceries, is to float on the London Stock Exchange with the aim of raising some £200m of new capital – much of which is expected be used to build a new distribution centre in the Midlands.
Ocado was established in 2000 and operates a centralised distribution model from a purpose built distribution centre at Hatfield delivering more than 20,000 product lines including Waitrose and John Lewis-branded goods.
The John Lewis Partnership, which owns Waitrose, welcomed the announcement. Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose said: “For many years Waitrose and Ocado have a very strong, mutually beneficial commercial relationship based on a shared passion for high quality food, outstanding customer service and great value. We reinforced that relationship in May through signing a new ten year branding and sourcing agreement and we look forward to developing the relationship further in the coming years.’
And spokesman for the Board of Trustees of the John Lewis Partnership Pension Fund, which owns 29 per cent of Ocado’s shares, said: “The Pension Fund welcomes today’s announcement that Ocado is to seek a listing on the London Stock Market. The Pension Fund has informed the Ocado board that it will undertake to sell a proportion of its shareholding.”
* In April, Liza Helps, Logistics Manager’s contributing editor, property, reported that Ocado had short listed five sites for its new 400,000 sq ft bespoke RDC including IM Properties Birch Coppice in the West Midlands.