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Ocado set for £1 billion flotation

Ocado, the online food retailer which many people believed could never succeed, is rumoured to be on the verge of a £1 billion stock market flotation. It would seem as though the potential float program is well down the line with a May flotation date apparently in the offing. This is a company which has stolen a march on the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda and delivered a service which many people believed was near impossible.

The company was founded by a number of Goldman Sachs bankers and with Goldman Sachs having a shareholding in the operation it would seem highly likely the company will lead a potential flotation. There are a number of other prominent shareholders which include the John Lewis pension-fund (30%), Al Gore, Procter & Gamble and billionaire Jon Rausing. These investors took a significant risk by ploughing their money into the company and are set to be rewarded with a potentially enormous return.

The Internet continues to impact upon many areas of everyday life and even food delivery which many believed was a no-go for the Internet. It will be interesting to see whether any potential trade buyers appear because this is a company which continues to grow although it will report pre-tax losses for some time to come. So is Ocado the retail equivalent of eBay?

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