Ocado says tie-up with Morrisons would not affect relationship with Waitrose
Ocado has insisted that any agreement with Morrisons to launch an online grocery business would not affect its relationship with Waitrose.
In statement issued today ahead of its AGM, the online grocer also confirmed that the arrangements under discussion with Morrisons do not involve the supermarket acquiring Ocado.
The statement said: "Ocado is in discussions with Wm. Morrison Supermarkets which may lead to an agreement to facilitate Morrison commencing an online business in the UK. Any such agreement would be complementary to Ocado's existing partnership with Waitrose, which would be unaffected by any potential agreement with Morrison - product would continue to be sourced with Waitrose, and Ocado customers would continue to buy exclusively from the existing Ocado, Waitrose and branded ranges.
"Ocado reconfirms that the arrangements under discussion do not involve Morrison acquiring either the whole of, or an equity stake in, Ocado. Discussions are ongoing, and there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached. A further announcement on this topic will be made in due course."
Yesterday, when reporting its first quarter sales, Morrisons said it was on track to launch its first online grocery business by January 2014. It added that discussions with Ocado were ongoing but that the launch would not be dependent on any partnership with the online grocer.
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