ASOS has announced a plan to raise as much as £75 million in cash from shareholders as the struggling online retail giant seeks to strengthen its finances.
And the company said that its three biggest shareholders are supporting it. These include Anders Povlsen, the owner of Bestseller, via his investment vehicle. ASOS said the three shareholders will “significantly participate in the equity raise and have provided underwriting commitments that will, together, cover the full amount of the placing, reflecting their confidence in the long-term prospects of the business”.
As part of this fundraising aim £75 million, ASOS has also launched a retail offer (that is, one available to other shareholders) of its shares of up to £5 million. The new ordinary shares are priced at 418.1p each, which was the closing price of the shares on 25 May.
And the company has entered into a deal for £275 million of loans and credit facilities with Bantry Bay Capital to run for just under two years. This replaces the arrangements it already had in place that were due to end next year.
The financing strategy comes as the company continues to report falling sales, a higher level of returns post-pandemic, and after it swung to a loss in its latest reporting period (the six months to the end of February).
ASOS said the reasons for the move include funding its renewed commercial model in which it’s “comprehensively changing” its approach to buying and merchandising, “with improved stock management discipline and reduced complexity across its supply chain”.
It’s also optimising its cost base, improving order economics and maximising its operating model efficiency “to ensure a sustainable level of profitability and cash generation in all markets”.
And of course, the money will also give it a “robust and flexible balance sheet” that allows it to continue its “strategic investment into the customer experience”.
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