Ocado Raises $1.3 Billion to Fund Growth of Online Shopping

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(Bloomberg) -- Ocado Group Plc is raising just over 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) through a share placement, retail offer and convertible bonds to fund expansion of online grocery shopping in an era of social distancing.

The company said Thursday it’s getting 657 million pounds via the share placement and retail offer and 350 million pounds through the convertible bond offering. The stock fell as much as 7.5% to 1,960 pence, which was the offer price.

Ocado, which provides technology for automated grocery delivery warehouses, said proceeds will be used to support its nine current partners, as well as new clients. The company works with the likes of Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA in France and Kroger Co. in the U.S.

The consumer-goods industry is starting to get busy for the post-lockdown business world, with Inditex SA planning to invest about $3 billion in e-commerce and a store-restructuring program over the next three years. Unilever Thursday announced plans to unify its share structure, which will make stock-based acquisitions and divestments easier.

Ocado also provides home delivery to U.K. customers. Like other online grocers, it has benefited from a surge in orders since coronavirus lockdowns were imposed, and at times has struggled to meet demand.

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan and Numis Securities are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the placing, with Goldman and J.P. Morgan working on the convertible bond offering, Ocado said.

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