Ocado has appointed logistics outfit Mace to advise on its US debut amid rumours that it is in talks with grocery chain Publix Super Markets.

The upmarket online grocery retailer is believed to be in talks with the south eastern US grocery chain regarding an online launch, according to The Times.

Ocado has been searching for an international partner for some time. Boss Tim Steiner had initially targeted the end of its last financial year, in February, to announce a deal.

The online supermarket wants to agree “multiple” overseas deals to offer retailers the same technology and logistics services it provides for Morrisons in the UK.

Last month, it insisted that it was unconcerned about Morrisons’ tie-up with Amazon, which will see the supermarket supply hundreds of frozen, fresh and ambient goods to Amazon.

Rumours had previously abounded that Amazon was eyeing a takeover bid for Ocado as the US etail titan continues to mull over launching a fully-fledged Fresh grocery proposition in the UK.