Ocado considers London flotation by early 2010

ONLINE grocery retailer Ocado is considering an IPO, City A.M. can confirm, in a drastic u-turn by its finance director Jason Gissing.<br /><br />Sources close to the firm said it would use the capital from a London IPO to fund international expansion, after several foreign retailers expressed interest.<br /><br />It is considering floating on the stock exchange by early next year, despite Gissing saying just a year ago: &ldquo;I would rather shoot myself than be finance director of a listed company.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t start Ocado to sit in a room full of suits and have them abuse me about quarterly earnings,&rdquo; he added at the time.<br /><br />The finance director is an ex-Goldman Sachs banker, and co-founded the online shopping site &ndash; which has Waitrose as its main customer and shareholder &ndash; a decade ago.<br /><br />US group Procter &amp; Gamble bought a one per cent stake in Ocado earlier this year for &pound;5m.<br /><br />That valued the online company, which delivers produce from Waitrose direct to consumers&rsquo; doors at &pound;500m. Estimates of its value have since soared to around &pound;600m.<br /><br />It is thought an IPO will make Ocado&rsquo;s founders and management a windfall of around &pound;130m.<br /><br />Ocado was not available for comment last night.