Online retailer Booktopia revives listing plans, taps two brokers News31 Aug 2020

Fund managers will soon be going through the books of another e-commerce outfit hoping to list on the ASX.


Street Talk understands online book retailer Booktopia officially appointed brokers Morgans and Shaw and Partners last week to help it prepare for a run at the local bourse sometime later this year.


While it's early days, and no investor roadshows had been locked in, Booktopia is expected to be pitched to funds as the biggest online book retailer in the country.


It will be hoping to seize the coronavirus-induced investor momentum that's building behind e-commerce players and fellow ASX aspirants beauty products seller Adore Beauty, wine retailer Vinomofo, cashback scheme Cashrewards and buy now, pay later outfit Zebit.


Booktopia had a 47.9 per cent share of Australia's online book sales market and its revenue is estimated to hit $150.6 million in the 2020 financial year, according to research firm IBISWorld.


Meawhile, it posted $129.1 million in revenue in the 2019 fiscal year and an $824,000 after tax profit, according to its accounts lodged with the corporate regulator.


The journey to the ASX will be a familiar one for Booktopia and its chief executive and big shareholder Tony Nash.


In 2016 the company tapped Morgans and Ord Minnett to take it public, and put a $40 million raising at $2 a share to investors, which valued the company's equity at $105.1 million. However, the deal failed to get away.


This time around, Booktopia and its brokers will be hoping that heightened investor interest in e-commerce retailers works in its favour.


Booktopia last fronted investors in February this year, when it secured a $20 million capital injection via a mix of debt and equity from a consortium of private backers, after abandoning plans to raise $10 million through crowdfunding. The investors included CHAMP Ventures co-founder Su-Ming Wong and JBS Investments founder John Sampson.


Booktopia declined to comment when contacted on Monday.


Article source: AFR, 31 August 2020

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