Just days after the Australian online bookseller asked to extend an suspension on the trading of its stock, Booktopia has taken the more drastic step of appointing a firm to oversee its voluntary administration. The move indicates the high unlikelihood that the company will continue to operate in its current form.

In an announcement made in Australia this morning, Booktopia put McGrathNicol Restructuring in charge of its reorganization efforts. Firm partners Keith Crawford, Matthew Caddy, and Damien Pasfield were appointed voluntary administrators, and the three men “are undertaking an urgent assessment of Booktopia’s business while options for its sale and/or recapitalization are explored,” the company announcement said.

Shares of Booktopia will remain suspended from trading during the administration process. The first creditors meeting is set for July 15, at which point creditors will be updated on the status of the bookseller.

A collapse of Booktopia would be "deeply problematic" for Australia’s bookselling and publishing segments, Robbie Egan, chief executive at Australian bookseller association BookPeople, told the Australian Broadcasting Company. "This is a hole that needs to be filled and I feel for the writers, publishers, et cetera that will feel this," Egan continued.

The appointment of McGrathNicol is part of an ongoing effort by Booktopia to improve its financial performance. The effort began in June, with the announcement that its CEO and CFO had resigned following a report indicating that the bookseller saw a 22% decline in sales in the last six months of 2023 amid steeper losses. At that time, Booktopia also said that it planned to layoff 50 employees.