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Booktopia sacks 165 staffers as QBD Books, Kogan consider takeover

Booktopia has let 165 staff go as the beleaguered bookseller looks for an urgent sale whilst in voluntary administration.

Last week, Booktopia appointed Keith Crawford, Matthew Caddy and Damien Pasfield from McGrathNicol to oversee a possible sale.

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

According to News Corp, the company is now down to 18 staff after terminating 165 workers.

The bookseller embarked on a ‘strategic review’ in February, after reporting a 21% revenue drop for the last six months of 2023.

In June, Booktopia laid off 50 staffers, CEO David Nenke stepped down from the role after only a year in the top job, and co-founder Tony Nash took over as chief.

Following this, Booktopia entered a sudden trading halt with a suspension from quotation, followed by a stock market suspension and voluntary administration.

Executive chairman Peter George said: “The sustained volatility of the economic climate, in addition to changing consumer spending behaviours, have continued to contribute to business results that have been below our expectations.”

According to the Financial Review, there have numerous potential buyers looking to take over Booktopia’s business; it is estimated that 60 suitors have been sniffing about, among them QBD Books, Kogan.com, and digiDirect.

Expressions of interest close today.

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