Asos raises funds as it seeks turnaround after £291m loss

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Asos is raising £80m from shareholders and borrowing £275m from Bantry Bay Capital, the specializer lender which precocious bailed retired troubled retailers Superdry and Matalan, arsenic it struggles to unafraid a turnaround aft falling astir £300m into the red.

The online manner specializer said it had raised the funds to springiness it the “financial headroom” to amended shoppers’ acquisition and instrumentality to profitability wrong a twelvemonth by simplifying its processes, cutting costs and becoming much innovative.

On Friday, the institution said it had already secured £75m successful caller backing from organization shareholders led by large investors – the Danish manner entrepreneur Anders Povlsen’s Bestseller radical and US hedge money Camelot Capital Partners.

A further £5m successful caller shares volition beryllium offered to smaller investors with the 2 stock placings equivalent to a 5th of Asos’s stock capital.

Analysts from Peel Hunt said the £275m borrowed from Bantry Bay, a steadfast backed by the hedge money Elliott Advisors, nether a three-year woody gave Asos much flexibility than the £350m installation it replaced and the quality to “push connected with its betterment strategy without dancing astir its bankers each fewer months”.

However, the installation comes with a precocious 11% involvement complaint and analysts astatine Liberum said determination was inactive a precocious hazard that Asos’s turnaround program would not beryllium palmy and it would beryllium forced to refinance again.

“There inactive remains a worst-case script that further financing whitethorn beryllium needed to regenerate the £500m convertibles successful 2026,” Liberum analyst, Anubhav Malhotra, wrote successful a note.

Shares successful Asos were down 2% connected Friday.

The fundraising comes aft the online manner retailer revealed this period that it had made a loss of £291m successful the six months to 28 February aft income fell by 8%, including a 10% driblet successful the UK. The income driblet was acold worse than the 3% expected by the City arsenic the institution said it had deliberately shifted distant from unprofitable income and suffered from anemic user request and the December postal strikes.

Asos, Boohoo and different online manner specialists are struggling to woody with a accelerated alteration successful user behaviour arsenic precocious streets reopened aft the pandemic restrictions. A instrumentality to carnal shops has travel conscionable arsenic shoppers reined successful unnecessary spending and looked for ways to prevention costs – specified arsenic avoiding transportation charges.

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The outgo of handling shoppers’ unwanted items has besides changeable up arsenic wages for warehouse workers and transportation drivers and vigor and petrol costs person risen. Customer returns person accrued aft a displacement backmost to much fitted manner suitable for the bureau oregon ceremonial occasions. Return rates slumped during the pandemic lockdowns arsenic galore turned to easy-fit hoodies and jogging bottoms.

Online manner sellers person besides faced expanding contention from the likes of China’s Shein which present accounts for astir 3% of the UK’s online apparel market, according to analysts astatine GlobalData, up from astir thing – little than 0.2% – successful 2019.

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