Ocado is poised to publish its prospectus tomorrow and press ahead with a valuation of £900m-£1bn for its IPO.
The online grocer plans to raise £200m by selling new shares in its IPO and has eight banks advising. The valuation has been criticised by some as the grocer has yet to turn a pre-tax profit. It is expected to start its investor roadshow on Tuesday.
The prospectus is expected to set out Ocado’s path to profitability. It is expected to argue that at sales of more than £1bn, it would make a double-digit margin at the level of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, ahead of any store-based grocer.
Ocado has also become embroiled in a row with HSBC, one of its seven banks advising. According to the Daily Telegraph, which last week revealed HSBC had forecast that Ocado would not make any profit until 2014, the forecast is in stark contrast to those prepared by other advisers which expect Ocado to make a small profit next year.
Rival advisers on the Ocado float believe the HSBC profit forecast is flawed. One told the newspaper: “The analyst has failed to take account of lower financing costs following the float.”
HSBC declined to comment.