Last month, we reported that Marks & Spencer and Ocado were in talks over a joint food delivery offering.
Both parties have been keeping schtum on the matter. Until now, that is. “Following press speculation, Marks and Spencer Group confirms that it is in discussions with Ocado Group regarding a joint venture in UK retail. There is no certainty that these discussions will result in any agreement or as to the timing of any such agreement,” M&S said in a statement today.
According to the Evening Standard, M&S will pay Ocado between £800 million and £900 million for a 50% stake in the new venture, giving it a food delivery service for the first time.
Effectively Ocado will be split in two, leaving it free to step up its focus on licensing its tech with global retailers. It is structured as a JV so as to avoid legal complications with Ocado’s other supermarket partners, Waitrose and Morrisons.
None of this has been confirmed by M&S or Ocado, but more details are believed to be imminent so be sure to check back this week for further updates.