Australia's Booktopia plans IPO to expand

Australia's Booktopia plans IPO to expand

Booktopia, an Australian online book retailer, is set to float in the second half of 2016 for a $150m initial public offering as it plans to expand.

The family-owned company run by c.e.o and largest shareholder Tony Nash has appointed investment bank Investec to advise on its strategic options, including an initial public offering (IPO), trade sale or capital raising, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The newspaper reported the company had also hired investment banks Ord Minnett and Morgans as lead advisers on a potential float in the second half of calendar 2016.

Nash told Fairfax Media: “When you do these things it's always full steam ahead. There are no guarantees when you prepare for an IPO, but we are definitely doing everything to ensure if it looks like we can [float] we're ready."

While Nash plans to sell some of his shares, most of the funds raised in the IPO will reportedly be used to fund expansion and supply chain and distribution improvements.

"There will be a small sell-down on my side, but mostly it's about the future," he said.

Booktopia acquired Bookworld from Penguin Random House Australia last year, bringing its share of the online retail market for books from 62% to 80%, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The company expects to achieve sales of $80m in 2016, and  $100m in 2017.

Booktopia is preparing for expansion just a month after Amazon announced its subsidiary The Book Depository was to expand in the country, adding 25,000 titles to its offer and using the third-party logistics company DAI Post in Melbourne to pack and send orders.

Analysts IBISWorld said the Australian online book market is increasing by 15.5% a year and is currently worth $231m.