Booktopia, the largest independent online bookseller in Australia, has filed a prospectus for an IPO to raise AUS$43.1 million ($30 million) and list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) with shares set to start trading on December 3.

According to the prospectus, Booktopia is offering 10.9 million new shares in the company and 7.9 million existing shares at $2.30 per share, giving the company a market capitalization at the offer price of AUS$315.8 million ($221 million ).

Of the AUS$43.1 million in total proceeds, AUS$25.1 million will be used to fund growth through further investment in the company’s distribution facility in Sydney, as well as increasing stock and paying down debt. Some AUS$18.1 million will be paid to existing shareholders.

Booktopia CEO Tony Nash said, “Since we sold our first book, we have ploughed millions of dollars and countless hours into building a dynamic, durable and scalable business. We have achieved tremendous growth over the last few years by focusing on our strengths as an online book retailer and seeking to dominate our sector through superior technology, customer service and product knowledge.”

As we reported last month, the bookseller has been on a bit of run throughout 2020, with sales booming as a result of the pandemic lockdowns around the country. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, the company had sales of AUS$165 million ($118 million), a 28% increase over fiscal 2019, while EBITDA (earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose 67% to AUS$6 million.

Booktopia, which also owns the Angus & Robertson brand, has forecast (on a pro-forma basis) total sales for the year ending June 30, 2021 of AUS $204.5 million and EBITDA of $9.4 million. Overall, the Australian book market was valued AUS $2.54 billion ($1.8 billion) last year, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan; AUS $920 million was accounted for by online purchases, a sum that is expected to surpass AUS $1 billion this year.

Booktopia, which was founded 16 years ago, took in AUS$14.3 million in investments early in the year to upgrade its Sydney distribution center and double the number of orders it could handle on a daily basis. In January, the company bought the digital assets of the bankrupt University Co-Operative Bookshop (it did not purchase the company's 30 bookstores).

The company had sought to go public in 2016, but abandoned the plans. The company later sought to raise AUS $3-$10 million in 2018 through crowdfunding, but closed the campaign in early 2019 after raising AUS $900,000 and attracting outside investment.

The article has been corrected to change misinformation suggesting the company had originally intended to raise a larger sum of money.