Booktopia seeks $43.1 million from investors to list on ASX

Booktopia

Booktopia's Tony Nash. Source: supplied.

E-commerce book retailer Booktopia is raising $43.1 million from investors to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in early-December, following a spike in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

In its prospectus released Monday, Booktopia says it’s offering 10.9 million new shares and 7.9 million existing shares at $2.30 per share, giving the company a market value of $315.8 million.

In a statement, co-founder and CEO Tony Nash asked investors to participate in the growth of the online business, which claims to account for almost 15% of total online consumer book sales in Australia.

“Since we sold our first book, we have ploughed millions of dollars and countless hours into building a dynamic, durable and scalable business,” Nash said.

“For the first time, the general public will have an opportunity to share in that success and be part of our future.”

Of the $43.1 million Booktopia aims to raise, $25.1 million will be used to increase resources at the company’s 14,000 square metre distribution centre in Sydney, as well as pay down debt.

Nearly $18.1 million will be paid to existing shareholders.

Since co-owners Tony Nash, Simon Nash and Steven Traurig established Booktopia in 2004, it has grown into the largest Australian-owned online-only book retailer, with its 2020 financial year revenue reaching $165.8 million.

The business raised $20 million from a consortium of private investors earlier this year, and has acquired several other book retailers during its 16 years of trading, including The Co-op bookshop business in January, and both Bookworld and Angus & Robertson back in 2015.

Nash said the volume of online sales has accelerated dramatically in the second half of the financial year, and new releases are expected to drive sales up to Christmas.

“The events of the last six months have now brought forward much of that future growth and we are seeing many of the converts increasingly convinced that online purchases are their new preference,” Nash said.

The offer is scheduled to open on November 10 and close on November 24.

Shares are expected to start trading on the ASX on December 3, 2020.

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