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Online book giant on brink of collapse

Beleaguered online book retailer Booktopia has appointed voluntary administrators.
Beleaguered online book retailer Booktopia has appointed voluntary administrators.

Beleaguered online book retailer Booktopia has announced it has entered voluntary administration after it failed to secure funding.

The company posted it had appointed Keith Crawford, Matthew Caddy and Damien Pasfield from McGrathNicol to oversee a potential restructure or sale of the business.

Booktopia has been a popular online store during coronavirus lockdowns. Australia Post.
Booktopia has been a popular online store during coronavirus lockdowns. Australia Post.

“The Administrators are undertaking an urgent assessment of Booktopia’s business while options for its sale and/or recapitalisation are explored,” the statement released on the ASX reported.

“The shares of Booktopia Group Limited (Administrators appointed) will remain suspended from trading during the administration process. Shareholder updates will be uploaded to the ASX platform as required.”

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The statement called on interested parties to “urgently” contact the administrators.

Wednesday’s announcements’ follows a string of blows for the struggling e-commerce giant.

Since launching on the ASX in 2020, Booktopia has peaked from a share price high of $3, plumetting to a low of 4 cents.

The company has been suspended from trading on the ASX since June 19, following multiple rounds of layoffs, which led to the sacking of about 90 jobs since January of last year.

Earlier this month, its chief executive David Tenke resigned, with founder Tony Nash stepping in as an executive directo and sales director.

Booktopia is Australia’s biggest bookstore. At its height, Booktopia was selling one book every 4.7 seconds, with business booming during the pandemic.