Ocado launches £500m bond issue to expand robotic warehouses abroad

Ocado is launching a £500 million bond issue as it seeks to fund the expansion of its robotic automated warehouses across the globe.

The online grocer told potential investors that its guaranteed senior unsecured convertible bonds, which are due in 2025, will pay out a coupon rate of between 0.75 per cent and 1.25 per cent every year.

Ocado added that its retail revenue growth for the 13 weeks to December 1 was set to jump between 10 and 11 per cent,

This comes just days after Ocado penned a £7 billion tie up with Japanese food retailer Aeon, marking its first foray into the Asian market and signalling concerted effort to drive expansion internationally.

READ MORE: Ocado signs up for partnership with Japan’s Aeon

It also revealed plans to open its first ‘mini’ fulfilment centre in Bristol by the end of 2020 or early 2021 last week, demonstrating its ability to install its high-tech robotic warehouses at nearly any location at around twice the speed of a traditional warehouse.

Ocado says it plans to spend the funds raised from its bond issue to “fund capital expenditure in relation to Ocado Solutions”, the arm of its business which sells its automated warehouse technology to third party retailers.

Its continued focus on supplying retailers with its technology, rather than selling directly to consumers, is seemingly paying off for Ocado, which has seen its stock skyrocket 68 per cent this year.

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