“A hole in the glass ceiling”: Adore Beauty lodges prospectus for $270 million ASX debut

Kate Morris Adore Beauty

Adore Beauty executive director Kate Morris. Source: supplied.

Aussie beauty marketplace Adore Beauty has lodged its prospectus with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, as it heads for an IPO worth $269.5 million.

The offer values the business at $614.8 million, and gives it an opening market cap of $635.3 million, based on an initial offer price of $6.75 per share.

Adore Beauty will trade under the ASX code ABY.

In an Instagram post, co-founder and executive director Kate Morris, who launched the business out of her garage some 20 years ago, said she “would never, ever, EVER have dreamed that @adorebeauty would make it onto the ASX”.

“I am so very proud of what we have built, and of my team, and of what this means for women in business,” she said

“Adore is going to be the first ASX listing of its size with a woman founder and woman CEO.

“Not to mention CFO, and COO, and majority women on the board.

“I hope this has broken a hole in the glass ceiling for many more women to come through.”

Most of the new funding — $229.5 million — will be raised through the sale of existing shares belonging to Adore Beauty. The other $40 million will be raised from the issue of new shares.

There will also be an ‘employee gift offer’, allowing eligible Adore Beauty employees to acquire about $1,000 worth of shares, at no cost.

The ASX listing is set to go live on October 23.

During its 20 years in business, Adore Beauty has, for the most part, been bootstrapped.

Back in 2015, the business sold a 25% stake in the business to Woolworths, which it then bought back two years later.

In September last year, Morris sold a 60% stake of the business to Quadrant Private Equity.

Morris herself is something of an e-commerce champion in the small business community.

Back in March, as the COVID-19 crisis set in Down Under, she created a virtual ‘war room’, inviting other online retailers to team-up to plan for the suddenly changed environment.

“We grew carefully and profitably for many years, slowly building trust with beauty brands and consumers,” Morris said in her co-founder and executive director’s letter in the prospectus.

She also thanked Adore Beauty customers for their “constant and honest feedback”, which she said has helped build and improve the business.

“As we have done for our first 20 years, we are focused on sustainable growth and building a high-quality business over the long term,” she said.

“We believe that by staying true to our customers, brands, values and vision, we can weather the challenges, and take advantage of all the opportunities that time may bring.”

NOW READ: “We’ve saved a tonne of money”: Adore Beauty is on a mission to scrap plastic packaging

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