Under the new venture, M&S is acquiring a 50% share of Ocado’s UK retail business, which will be supported by Ocado Smart Platform, for a total consideration of up to £750m, including a deferred consideration of up to £187.5m, plus interest.
The venture will trade as Ocado.com but benefit from access to M&S’ brand, products and customer database from September 2020 at the latest, following the termination of the current Waitrose sourcing agreement.
This will be the first time M&S food is available for delivery.
Steve Rowe, M&S CEO said: “I have always believed that M&S Food could and should be online. Combining the strength of our food offer with leading online and delivery capability is a compelling proposition to drive long-term growth.
“Our investment in a fully aligned joint venture with Ocado accelerates our Food strategy as it enables us to take our food online in an immediately profitable, scalable and sustainable way. This is a transformational step forward in shaping the future of M&S and in becoming a truly digital first retailer with at least a third of the business online.”
Tim Steiner, Ocado CEO added: “We are delighted that our UK retail business will become a joint venture with M&S. This is a transformative moment in the UK retail sector with the combination of two iconic and much loved retail brands set to provide an unrivalled online grocery offer.”