Online book seller Booktopia has successfully struck agreements to raise $8.1 million in funding to complete its customer fulfilment center consolidation.
According to Booktopia’s investor presentation released July 3, the offer comprises a $6.5 million two-tranche placement – which is subject to the board’s discretion – and a $1.6 million debt-to-equity conversion, subject to shareholder approval. The $5 million loan facility was secured from AFSG Asset Management.
In February, the company secured $12 million in funding for the development of the site.
The next gen customer fulfilment centre is set to open in August in South Strathfield and is expected to deliver a range of operational efficiencies and improved margins compared to the company’s current facility at Lidcombe including a flexible robotics platform and will reportedly allow for growth to at least $360 million in annual revenue.
Booktopia chairman Peter George said: “After two years of losses, completing the Next Gen CFC and with the other business improvement initiatives already announced will reset the cost base of the business.
“The raise will enable BKG to complete the Next Gen CFC by late August this year. With the benefits of these initiatives, we expect a return to EBITDA growth from FY24.”
The company forecast a $5 million underlying loss for FY23, with predictions of an underlying EBITDA of $13.5 million in FY24 if the Next Gen CFC is realised. Despite the optimistic outlook and successful capital raise, investors balked at the news and Booktopia shares dropped to an all time low, dropping 6.25 per cent at 15cps. Reflecting concern over recent leadership changes including the termination of a consultancy agreement with founder and non-executive director Tony Nash, and the resignation of director Steven Traurig.
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