Boohoo to raise £200m in share sale for acquisitions

Manchester-based online fashion giant Boohoo Group plc on Thursday announced a proposed placing of new ordinary shares with existing and new institutional investors to raise up to £200 million.

“Zeus Capital and Jefferies International Limited are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in connection with the placing …” said Boohoo.

“The group intends to use the net proceeds of the placing to take advantage of numerous opportunities that are likely to emerge in the global fashion industry over the coming months.

“The group continues to review a number of possible M&A opportunities and will update shareholders as required.”

Boohoo later confirmed the bookbuild had closed and it raised gross proceeds of £197.7 million through the successful private placing of 58,140,591 placing shares, representing 5% of the company’s issued share capital, at a price of 340p per placing share.

Boohoo said it had audited net cash of £240.7 million as at February 29, 2020, and that since the year end the group has remained cash generative.

“Following the placing, the group will have an even stronger balance sheet to help accelerate its vision to lead the fashion e-commerce market globally,” added the Manchester firm.

“Boohoo has demonstrated that its platform is capable of integrating high-quality fashion brands.

“The recent acquisitions of the Karen Millen and Coast brands evidence its successful transition of brands to a pure online proposition on its scalable multi brand platform; plugging them into its test and repeat model, and leveraging the group’s infrastructure and insight into the fashion e-commerce market.

“Moreover, the group’s earlier acquisitions of the NastyGal and MissPap brands demonstrate its ability to develop and grow brands successfully.

“The group sees significant opportunity to replicate this success globally.”

On current trading, Boohoo said: “At the time of the group’s preliminary results announcement on 22 April 2020, the group noted that since mid-March, trading had been mixed, as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, initially with a marked decrease in the year-on-year growth rate.

“Performance then improved during April, delivering improved year-on-year growth of group sales.

“The group is pleased to update shareholders that trading into May remains robust.

“The group does, however, remain cautious regarding the outlook, as a result of the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic together with the impact of lifting lock-down restrictions and the potential influence on competitive behaviour for the remainder of the year.

“Given the uncertainty generated by the continually evolving COVID-19 pandemic, it is not appropriate to provide guidance for the financial year ending 28 February 2021 at this stage.”