February 5, 2019 / 9:00 AM / 5 months ago

Ocado boss tight lipped on M&S deal talks reports

FILE PHOTO: A man walks from the main reception of the Ocado CFC (Customer Fulfilment Centre) in Andover, Britain May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The boss of Ocado, the online supermarket and technology group, declined to comment on media reports that it is in talks with Marks & Spencer regarding a possible tie-up.

“We’re in the business of talking to retailers, we’re constantly talking to different retailers all around the world about opportunities we may have with them,” Ocado Chief Executive Tim Steiner told reporters on Tuesday.

“We won’t comment on who we’re talking to and who we’re not talking to,” he said.

He noted that “rumors about this particular person (M&S) were out in 2017 as well.”

The reports regarding M&S have centered on the group agreeing a supply and distribution agreement with Ocado.

Ocado’s current supply deal with Waitrose, owned by the John Lewis Partnership, ends in September 2020.

M&S currently sells wine and flowers online as well as clothing but does not offer a full food delivery service. M&S has also declined to comment.

Steiner was speaking after Ocado published 2017-18 results.

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Kate Holton

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