US supermarket mega merger buoys Ocado shares 

Ocado soars on hopes it will benefit from merger of America’s two biggest supermarkets

Ocado shares soared on hopes it would benefit from a merger of the two biggest supermarkets in the US.

The supermarket-turned-technology business supplies automated warehousing technology to US giant Kroger.

And rumours that Kroger – America’s largest supermarket – was planning a tie-up with Albertsons, its biggest rival, sent Ocado shares up 10.9 per cent, or 42.7p, to 435.8p.

Robo shoppers: Ocado supplies its automated warehousing technology to US giant Kroger

Kroger is the biggest user of Ocado’s technology, which picks and packs grocery orders ready for delivery. 

The Hertfordshire-based business struck a deal with Kroger in 2018 to help it to ramp up its delivery business using Ocado’s robotic warehouses.

The potential deal between Kroger and Albertsons, reported by Bloomberg, could open the door for a huge expansion of Ocado’s dealings in the US, accelerating its path towards turning a profit.

The deal would create a grocery giant worth £41billion, almost three times the size of Tesco, the UK’s biggest supermarket.

Ocado, meanwhile, said customers are cutting their basket sizes and switching to cheaper products as the soaring cost of living bites.