Does Ocado really need eight banks advising on its flotation?
Home delivery company Ocado is taking no chances in being short of advice for its float as five more banking names signed on the dotted line to receive fees if the company does actually float (Retail Week, June 1).
It seems staggering that a business looking to raise a modest £150 million (against an admittedly outlandish valuation of £1 billion) should feel the need to appoint the services of Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Numis and Jefferies. This comes on top of its existing advisor arrangement with Goldman Sachs, UBS and JP Morgan Cazenove.
It is surely beyond belief that they all have something different to offer on the advice front. So maybe the thinking from Ocado management is that if it can ‘sell’ the flotation idea to enough banks, who then buy enough shares, they can maybe manage to get the float away at the fanciful £1 billlion level.
The recent signing of a new 10-year partnership deal with Waitrose to continue to supply it with products was a welcome bit of news for Ocado and did undoubtedly remove one of the major obstacles to its stock market listing. But this is not enough to ensure the company successfully floats by the now mooted July at its chunky hoped-for price.