Ocado rockets after securing Japanese deal
OCaDO shares jumped nearly 10pc after it struck a deal with a Japanese supermarket, boosting founder Tim Steiner’s fortune by more than £32m.
Using its automated picking technology, the British firm will launch an online delivery business with aeon.
The news sent Ocado shares up 9.7p, or 117p, to 1325p, adding £817m to the value of the company. The rise also took the value of Steiner’s stake to £365.7m.
aeon, which has 21,000 stores in 14 countries and as many as 100m customers, hopes online sales will reach £4bn by 2030 thanks to the deal.
Ocado will open its first warehouse for aeon in 2023.
The company, which is better known for its grocery delivery business in the UK, will hire almost 400 developers in the UK on the back of the deal.
There will also be more head office roles in the UK and jobs created in the places it operates. aeon already employs 580,000 people.
Ocado did not say how much the deal is worth, but one effect is that its operating costs are set to rise by £25m next year. Finance director Duncan Tatton-Brown said it could build as many as four new warehouses by 2025, up to 11 by 2030 and 20 by 2035.
Steiner, who is also chief executive, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome another extraordinary retailer, and the first from asia, to the international club of grocers powering their ecommerce operations with Ocado.’
Ocado has signed similar partnerships with morrisons in the UK, Kroger in america and Groupe Casino in France, and will also launch a joint venture with marks & Spencer in autumn 2020. Joe Healey, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said: ‘This deal looks set to continue the march of Ocado.’