Ocado boss Tim Steiner launched a very ambitious plan that tripled the value of his food delivery company just days before the robotic warehouse burned.
The Sunday mail can reveal that the company's stock market value would rise to nearly £ 20 billion – putting it in the same league as the titans of Rolls-Royce, Tesco and BT.
Steiner, who over the past few weeks has secretly talked about launching a new grocery delivery service for Marks & Spencer, can bring bonuses of up to £ 100 million over the next five years if he can achieve such seismic growth.
Romance: Ocado boss Tim Steiner, with his new love, the 29-year-old Polish model Patrycja Pyka
After one of the bleakest weeks in the history of Ocado, the extent of his ambitions became known. The inferno has led to his high-tech warehouse in Andover, Hampshire, one of four that owns it, burning down.
Sources said the fire, which raged for several days, could defer the company's national plans by a year or more.
Ocado has spent the last few days calming down the nerves of business partners, including Waitrose, Morrisons and the US supermarket Kroger worth 95 billion euros.
The disruption could hinder any deal with Marks & Spencer, as the talks reach a critical stage. The negotiations were seen as the first step in Steiner's global plan for Ocado to abandon his 20-year contract with Waitrose.
Ocado's ambitious growth strategy was described in a manager incentive program, which was released on the same day that the company FTSE 100 was published on the same day the fire broke out.
Steiner will not receive the maximum payout unless the stock price triples. Lower payouts worth several million would be paid if he increased the shares by 10 percent each year.
With the "Value Creation Plan", Steiner receives a bonus of 1% of the added value of the Ocado share price of more than 10% each year. There is a limit of £ 20 million per year.
The M & S deal is up to date here … and could go both ways
Four other executive directors of the firm – Duncan Tatton-Brown, Luke Jensen, Neill Abrams and Mark Richardson – are eligible for up to £ 25m within five years, bringing the total payout to £ 200m.
Last night, firefighters still searched the rubble of the burned-out warehouse to find the cause of the fire.
The investigation will attempt to determine if the damage was caused by human error or a potential design flaw in robotic technology or automated factory materials.
Any official indication of a defect could affect Ocado's reputation as it seeks to expand overseas.
The fire broke out on Tuesday morning, while Ocado bosses brought their technological excellence to investors in the city.
Disaster: One of Ocado's four high technology warehouses burnt down in Andover earlier this month
The Hampshire Fire Department said a small fire had taken a "dramatic turn" on Wednesday morning when the crews had to be withdrawn.
The inhabitants were evacuated to a distance of 500 meters, fearing explosions or the release of toxic gases. Two hundred firefighters and rescue workers finally managed to extinguish the flame.
Fire Chief Neil Odin said the warehouse, built on a grid of moving robots, was "not designed for the free operation of people" so "it was very difficult for firefighters" to enter the fire and fire to bring under control.
A spokesman said last night that the plant's "complex nature" has made the fight against fire "challenging for everyone".
He added, "There will be a full and thorough investigation into the fire, where owners work together to determine the cause and find out lessons for the future."
Fire departments in other areas of the country where Ocado is located – including Dordon in Warwickshire – have refused to say whether the buildings are being investigated for risk.
A source from a city said, "Everyone understands Ocado. No one can take Tim's success in building this business. But how the hell did the whole building collapse?
"Potential buyers are asking themselves – insurance or no insurance – what do I do if that happens to me and how can I deliver to my customers in the worst case scenario?"
Ocado says it is insured and insists that it can cover orders from the spare capacity of its three other centers. Andover makes up 10 percent. But as the smoke clears, the life of Tim Steiner looks very different than a week ago.
The former Goldman Sachs banker divorced his wife Belinda in 2016 and settled down with the Polish model Patrycja Pyka.
The Mail on Sunday understands that he recently celebrated his new life by secretly spitting out £ 25 million on a 156-meter yacht he called Silver Fox.
His next bonus, due in May, almost covers the cost of his ship.
With its global ambitions for Ocado, the yacht is the perfect place to entertain new business partners and spend time with Pyka.
Luxury: Tim Steiner recently bought a $ 25 million Silver Fox yacht, which has a pool and gym
Silver Fox, with interior design by luxury yacht designer Francesco Paszkowski, rolled out of the yards of superyacht manufacturer Baglietto in Italy late last year before Steiner noticed.
It has a pool, gym and can accommodate up to 12 guests in five cabins and a crew of eight.
The sales literature states that the upper deck is "designed for entertainment purposes by placing an elegant outdoor dining table under the sundeck overhang, while the lower deck has a sizeable bathing platform that connects to the beach club and a sensational sunbathing and entertainment area creates next to the water & # 39 ;.
It is the ultimate guide ball for a man who has stuck to his plans through twists and turns just to see the climax of his dream.
Those who know him say that after building his first fortune delivering Waitrose products, he was forced to dream of meeting with the global tech elite – such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook.
"At meetings with Tim, discussions are now going on about which hypermarket groups buy the blueprint for the robotic sales centers and theories about the blue skies about what's next for their technology – not how many types of tomato he's selling," said one source from City.
Investors who wanted to find the next big thing grabbed the stocks.
Even after plunging 15 percent last week's heat before rebounding slightly, it was still just over £ 9 – almost four times the price in 2017, before a flood of deals hit the market a landmark agreement with Kroger culminated.
The latest on his list of potential new deals – as announced by The Mail last month – is Marks & Spencer. Both M & S and Ocado have refused to disclose details, but what has leaked out reveals Steiner's broader ambitions.
Steiner held secret talks about the launch of a new food delivery service for Marks & Spencer
He's been trying to trick Marks & Spencer's chairman, Archie Norman, into buying Ocado's physical assets – to the camps that ravaged Andover, the original factory in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and the triple giant center in Erith, South East London, should be as big as Andover.
There are also more than a dozen mini-camps. The deal would allow Steiner to relieve the risk of food delivery for Waitrose and focus on selling its coveted technology.
Under the Mooted Deal is understood that Waitrose customers are switched to M & S – an ambition, which in the view of some observers goes too far.
Sources said that with only 18 days to reach a deal before clauses in the Waitrose treaty restrict talks, the Andover disaster has put the crucial change in jeopardy.
Chefs at M & S have also struggled for years to figure out the benefits of entering a delivery market where margins are low or non-existent and even Ocado continues to make losses.
The M & S talks may have worsened the relationship with Waitrose, which Ocado has relied on for two decades.
Ocado sees itself as a conversation with other retailers, but observers say the further they get from their middle-class heartbuilder, the harder it would be to change them to another brand.
Rocky: M & S discussions may have affected the relationship with Waitrose, which Ocado relied on
Steiner's sometimes spiky personality is well known and he has collided with Waitrose bosses in the past when a round of negotiations broke out on an inappropriate public spit.
A retail source said, "Ocado is one of the great entrepreneurial success stories of the past 25 years. But the M & S deal is up to date here and could go both ways.
"If that fails, Tim will have to return to Waitrose and find another five-year relationship that has barely survived toleration for over a decade."
It is understood that there is a possibility that the M & S deal with Ocado's new Zoom Service, which carries smaller shopping bags, is a watered-down version of the M & S deal.
M & S buyers tend to buy less than supermarket buyers – a fact often repeated by Marks & Spencer boss Steve Rowe.
It's been less than a year since the company announced that Steiner had received £ 110 million in stock options and cash.
It includes a £ 80 million long-term bonus launched by the company nine years ago.
Ocado was previously criticized by investors and shareholder advisory groups for not providing enough information about the bonuses targets.
The company has admitted that this was a problem. His latest annual report states that it hopes to "address the shortcomings underlying the long-term foundation." [bonus] Plans used historically ".
The basis for the new bonus program will be based on the average share price for April, the month up to the next shareholders' meeting of the company, in which investors will have the opportunity to vote on the plan.
Due to other changes, Chairman and former M & S boss Lord Stuart Rose is no longer prohibited from selling shares worth £ 6.8m.
The annual report describes how the program would work. If Steiner raised the stock price from an underlying of £ 8.50 to £ 17, the additional value would be £ 5.9bn, meaning that it would receive £ 55m.