// M&S confirms it is in talks with Ocado over a joint venture
// Ocado shares rose by over 30% since the end of December due to speculation of the deal
Marks & Spencer has confirmed that it is currently in talks with online grocer Ocado following growing speculation of a food delivery deal.
The two retailers are holding talks to establish M&S’s food division online and to offer on-demand delivery for customers.
M&S posted on its website that there was no certainty these discussions would result in any agreement, and that there are no details of the timing of any such agreement.
Earlier this month, Ocado shares had risen by more than 30 per cent since the end of December due to the potential deal.
Speculation has been mounting for the past few weeks, and M&S is believed to be looking to take a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture.
Meanwhile, Ocado chief executive Tim Steiner is reportedly hoping to sign the deal as he aims to focus on the technology side of the business, with ambitions to make the M&S food business fit for the online world.
Following the confirmation this morning, Ocado shares climbed 10 per cent, while M&S saw its shares rise by four per cent.