Waitrose owed £4m following brief deal with Ocado founder

Waitrose has been left £4 million out of pocket through its brief tie-up with an insolvent venture set up by one of Ocado’s founders.

According to a progress report by administrators at Interpath, Waitrose is the second-largest trade creditor of Today Development Partners (TDP). The business collapsed last month, with its remaining assets sold to Ocado in a £326,000 deal.

The high-end supermarket originally signed a deal with TDP as part of plans to treble the size of its digital business, following Ocado’s decision to sever its contract with Waitrose in favour of a joint venture with M&S.

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The partnership with TDP lasted just four months, with Waitrose claiming it had terminated the agreement for “business reasons”.

In 2019, the John Lews Partnership, which owns Waitrose, pursued Jonathan Faiman – founder of TDP – to recover £10 million in mobilisation fees.

However, the administrators’ report showed that £4 million is outstanding.

In addition, the report also revealed that TDP was making a £10.3 million operating loss while about £10.6 million was owed to trade creditors and £300,000 was owed to HM Revenue & Customs.

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