Boohoo raises £198m to drive acquisitions

Boohoo has announced a successful placing of £198 million - priced at 340 pence per share - in a deal led by investment banking boutique Zeus Capital.

Following the fundraise, the online fashion retailer is expected to have circa £500 million in cash, "giving it significant firepower to rapidly execute attractive brand acquisitions as they arise around the world", according to a statement.

Founded in Manchester in 2006, the brand has targeted young, value-orientated customers. Since completing a £300 million Initial Public Offering in 2014 - also led by Zeus Capital - Boohoo has grown rapidly in the UK and internationally, with a current market capitalisation in excess of £4.1 billion.

In recent years, the company has extended its customer offerings through a number of acquisitions, including the purchases of PrettyLittleThing and Nasty Gal in 2017, along with MissPap, Karen Millen and Coast last year.

Last month, the group reported annual pre-tax profits up 54 per cent to £92.2 million, while revenue rose 44 per cent to £1.23 billion.

Boohoo said trading has been mixed since the middle of March and that it initially experienced a marked decline in year-on-year growth. Although performance has improved in recent weeks, the business remains cautious regarding its outlook due to uncertainty around the Coronavirus crisis.

The firm intends to use the proceeds of the placing to take advantage of potential acquisition opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months.

The new shares are expected to be admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market on 20 May, with the new placing representing five per cent of the enlarged share capital.

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