Ocado shares soared nearly 45% on Thursday – adding £1.6bn to the value of the company – after the online grocer unveiled a major push into the US market with a deal to provide its technology to the American grocery giant Kroger, the world’s third largest retailer. Tim Steiner, a founder and chief executive of the UK online grocer, said it was a “transformative” deal in which the two firms would build 20 automated warehouses across the US over the next three years. Kroger has nearly 2,800 shops across 35 US states and annual sales of $122bn in 2017. It will take a 5% stake in Ocado as part of the deal. At one point, Ocado shares had jumped 81% to £10 and despite slipping back from that level they closed 245.2p better at 797.2, valuing the business at £5.3bn. This means the company is worth more than Marks & Spencer, which is valued at £4.8bn. The value of Steiner’s personal stake in the company surged in value by more than £60m by the time the stock market closed. His shares are worth nearly £200m. At its current share price, Ocado would surge into the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s… Read full this story
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