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