Online retailer Booktopia is heading to the ASX with a $315 million valuation

- November 3, 2020 2 MIN READ
Booktopia founder and CEO Tony Nash
Australian e-tailer Booktopia is planning to list on the ASX in December with a market capitalisation of nearly $315 million.

The business lodged its prospectus today, hoping to raise $43.1 million, with an offer of 10.9 million new shares and 7.9 million existing shares at $2.30 per share.

Existing shareholders will cash in $18.1 million of their stock with $25.1 million allocated to further investment in the company’s 14,000 sqm Sydney distribution facility in Sydney, increasing stock and working capital, listing costs, employee shares and paying down debt.

The company recently launched a $12 million upgrade to its distribution centre to double capacity and shipped 6.5 million books last year to buyers in Australia and around the world.

If February this year, before Covid-19 hit, Champ Ventures CEO and co-founder Su-Ming Wong and JBS Investments CEO and founder John Sampson led a consortium of investors in a $20 million capital raise as the privately-owned Australian venture marked 16 years online.

Founded by Tony and Simon Nash, and Steven Traurig, in 2004 – it launched on the same day as Facebook – Booktopia is now the country’s largest Australian-owned online book retailer with revenue  of $165.8 million in FY20. It has a 6% share of the Australian book market, and nearly 15% of the total online consumer book sales.

The business owns the Angus & Robertson brand, and bought the University Co-operative Bookshops in early 2020 after the business slid into administration.

The Offer is scheduled to open on November 10, and close on November 24. Shares are expected to start trading on December 3, 2020. A small proportion of shares will be allocated to retail investors and while early investors will cash in to the tune of $18 million, Nash is maintaining his full stake in the business.

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

“We have achieved tremendous growth over the last few years by focusing on our strengths as an online book retailer and seeking to dominate our sector through superior technology, customer service and product knowledge.”

The prospectus has (on a pro-forma basis) total sales in the current year (to 30 June 2021) of $204.5 million with a Gross Profit of $55.7 million and EBITDA of $9.4 million. The revenue growth is a 23.4% increase on FY20.

It has around 2.3 million repeat customers and Nash says the growth of online purchasing of physical books has been increasing steadily, year on year.”

“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,” he said.

“We have an extremely sophisticated e-commerce capability with an industry-leading conversion rate and a unique and growing database attached to a massive repository of consumer behaviour insights.

“It is this data and insights that have allowed us to see off various competitors and deliver a compound annual sales growth approaching more than 35% since 2008.”

The Offer is available on the company’s website at booktopia.com.au/ipo


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