Bookseller Booktopia takes desperate steps to survive


Booktopia has announced that its chief executive is departing, dozens of jobs will be eliminated, and its earnings forecasts are being withdrawn.

The online bookseller has arranged $1 million in emergency financing as it struggles to stay afloat.

Chief executive David Nenke tendered his resignation on Monday morning with immediate effect, the company said. Chief financial officer Fiona Levens resigned on May 15.

Booktopia co-founders Tony Nash, left, and Steve Traurig ringing the bell at the online book retailer’s ASX listing in 2020.

Booktopia co-founders Tony Nash, left, and Steve Traurig ringing the bell at the online book retailer’s ASX listing in 2020.Credit: Steven Siewert

Booktopia also said on Monday it was withdrawing its guidance issued in February it would make $1 million to $3 million in 2023–24.

In addition, at least 50 roles would be considered for redundancy at its Rhodes headquarters in a bid to save $6.1 million in 2024–25.

To help pay for costs associated with those redundancies, the company has secured a $1 million revolving debt facility with AFSG Capital at an 18 per cent interest rate.

The company has issued $400,000 in shares to secure the debt facility and agreed to pay $200,000 when it first borrows from it. GST will be paid on top of those fees, bringing the total cost to $660,000.

Booktopia is seeking consent from its existing secured lender, Moneytech, regarding the debt facility and certain financial reporting covenants.

The company said economic headwinds and the continued soft performance of the Australian book market have affected its core business, selling physical books via two websites, Booktopia.com.au and angusrobertson.com.au.



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