Ocado has moved to quash speculation that Morrisons is interested in acquiring or taking a stake in the online grocer.
Morrisons said last month that it is in discussions over a potential deal to use Ocado’s technology to launch an online grocery offer next year, and there has been speculation that a full sale might result.
But Ocado last night said “that the arrangements under discussion do not involve Morrison acquiring either the whole of, or an equity stake in, Ocado”.
The etailer said: “Ocado confirmed that it was in discussions with Morrison which may lead to an agreement to license certain of Ocado’s existing and future intellectual property and operating knowledge for the purposes of Morrison commencing an online grocery business in the UK.”
Ocado warned that discussions are ongoing and that “there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached”.
It is understood that a statement on the conclusion of the discussions could be unveiled when Morrisons posts first-quarter results on May 9. Ocado’s annual general meeting is the following day.