Ocado targeting overseas markets

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The online grocer Ocado established a subsidiary in Ireland in January to license its intellectual property, notably its bespoke software, to overseas retailers, in an effort to further grow sales after its expected flotation this month.

Ocado has held talks with overseas retailers, including Carrefour, the French giant, about launching similar types of grocery delivery services.

According to its IPO prospectus, the online grocer has granted Ocado Information Technology a "licence to use the group's intellectual property outside of the UK". The purpose is to enable Ocado to sell its protected intellectual property, including the code and processes behind Ocado's software and hardware, as a "black box" package, say sources.

Ocado plans to raise £400m from the IPO later this month, which could value the retailer at more than £1.1bn. But it has not made a pre-tax profit in 10 years.