Ocado has failed to confirm a technology licensing agreement before a deadline that it voluntarily set at the end of last year.
The online grocer has said repeatedly that it was in “multiple talks with multiple parties” about signing a deal with an overseas supermarket. The rumours were that France’s Carrefour and US group Safeway were in the running, but Ocado will have nothing to confirm ahead of its annual results update this week.
According to sources, negotiations with prospective partners have been sensitive.
It is expected that Ocado will record a 14% rise in full-year earnings, to £81m, in its annual results.
In December, Ocado’s CFO Duncan Tatton-Brown, Ocado’s said that a deal was “quite imminent”, and that it wasn’t “an issue” if the supermarket hadn’t signed by the New Year.
“What we don’t want is if it hasn’t been signed by the end of 2016.”
Analysts have questioned whether the time it has taken to seal the deal is a cause for concern.