Marks & Spencer and Ocado have confirmed they are “in discussions” around a £1.8bn joint venture.

Read moreOcado to develop 20 new warehouses in first stage of US deal with Kroger

The tie-up would see M&S pay Ocado between £800m and £900m for a 50 per cent stake in the food delivery service, according to the Standard.

The partnership would effectively separate Ocado into two distinct operations, the publication reported, with one arm dedicated to licensing its robotic factory technology across the globe.

Ocado already boasts one such deal with US grocer Kroger.

Both M&S and Ocado have been tight-lipped on their deal, and in a statement simply confirmed they are “in discussions … regarding a joint venture in UK retail”.

Read morePeltarion, the AI startup used by Nasa, Ocado and Tesla, raises $20m

“There is no certainty that these discussions will result in any agreement or as to the timing of any such agreement,” they added.

M&S reports 62% drop in annual profits

+Retail bombshell: M&S to shut over 100 stores by 2022


Konstantin (aka Leon Brookhill) was born in Moscow's Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (VDNKh) district on 23 February 1961 the second son of a School master. Educated at Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982. He was recruited to the Soviet 40th Army serving as a Сержант in Aghanistan,later transferring to 1008th Flak Artillery Regiment, before being struck in the shoulder by a stray shell fragment. Konstantin invalided out of the Army started up as Soviet blogger 'Maaxmann', later becoming a guard for a Moscow ballet company and it was there accompanying them in the West, that he had his first taste of the 'High Life'. Failing to return to Russia he resided first in Reutlingen, where he became a correspondent for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung...later he moved to London to write for the Telegraph,where he now resides with his wife and 2 children.

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