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Top Oz Retailer Booktopia Enters Into Voluntary Administration

After failing to secure emergency funding, Australia’s biggest online bookseller Booktopia has said that it has now entered into voluntary administration.

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” come forward and noted that a first meeting of its creditors will take place on Monday, July 15.

Trading of its shares will be suspended during the administration process. Since launching on the ASX in 2020, Booktopia’s share price has plummeted from a peak of A$3, to a low of just 4 cents.

At one point, Booktopia was believed to have been selling one book every 4.7 seconds, with its business surging during the pandemic.

It has been plagued with financial turmoil for years and had three consecutive years of unprofitability.

A strategic review was initiated in February after its revenue dropped 21 per cent to $86.3m for the second half of 2023.

The company’s net loss between July and December was $16.7m, with net liabilities of more than $20m. It also reportedly laid off dozens of employees over the last few months.

Booktopia’s chief executive David Nenke tendered his resignation in June with immediate effect, just over a year after taking the top job. The move forced board member and co-founder Tony Nash to step in and take charge.

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