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Several Potential Suitors Circle Booktopia Ahead Of Bid Deadline

Dozens of potential suitors are raising their hand to acquire the assets of or the brand itself of Australia’s biggest online bookseller Booktopia which entered into voluntary administration this month.

The company has appointed Keith Crawford, Matthew Caddy and Damien Pasfield from McGrathNicol to oversee either a sale of the business or a recapitalisation of it.

Booktopia has asked those who are interested in acquiring its assets or recapitalising it to “urgently” get in touch with it ahead of the first meeting of its creditors which is scheduled to take place on Monday, July 15.

Media reports have indicated the administrators have received around 60 expressions of interest. Expressions of interest are due on Thursday, and firm offers for the company are reportedly due next Tuesday.

McGrathNicol has not revealed the names of those who have stepped forward, but reports have indicated that Brisbane-based QBD Books could be among them, as can online retailer Kogan.com which acquired the rights to Dick Smith Electronics’ brand after the retailer collapsed in 2016.

There’s also Digidirect, a consumer electronics retailer that could express interest in the Booktopia brand. It has reportedly engaged PwC to advise it on a potential purchase, and consulted with several former senior Booktopia staff members to understand how the book retailer could fit with its business.

Privately owned bookstore chain Dymocks is also believed to be interested in Booktopia’s assets, though not in the Booktopia brand itself.

After having entered voluntary administration, the former ASX-listed Booktopia has also axed another 165 jobs, with only 18 staff left on the payroll.

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