Manish Arora


LONDON — Koovs plc, the India-focused online retailer listed on the London Stock Exchange, said Friday it has raised gross proceeds of 21.9 million pounds, or $31.9 million, through the issue of 87.6 million new ordinary shares at a price of 25 pence, or 36 cents an ordinary share.

The new capital comes from existing shareholders and new institutional investors, including Ruffer LLP, and will be used to build up and promote the site. Starting in May, Koovs’ multichannel “Step into Koovs” marketing campaign will expand.

Among the new investors are Lord Waheed Alli, a British media mogul, Labour party figure, and former chairman of Asos.com; Baroness Gail Rebuck, the British publisher and chair of Penguin Random House’s British division, and Ruffer LLP, the British fund manager and investment company.

The funds will also be used for working capital and to acquire the remaining 38.6 percent stake in Koovs India, giving the parent company 100 percent ownership of the subsidiary.

The company said it has authority to raise up to an additional 8.1 million pounds, or $11.8 million, at 25 pence an ordinary share prior to June 30.

The company has a market capitalization of 12.5 million pounds, or $18.2 million, and is listed on the smaller AIM division of the London Stock Exchange. The share price was down 1.2 percent to 28 pence, or 41 cents, in afternoon trading.

Mary Turner, chief executive officer of Koovs, said India’s online fashion market is expected to increase five-fold by 2020, to 1.5 billion pounds, or $2.18 billion, and management has a clear strategy to accelerate Koovs’ growth in this market.

“Our near-term priority is to continue to build the brand. Our ambition remains to become India’s number-one Western fashion destination by 2020 and today’s announcement marks a next significant step towards that goal.”

Koovs carries clothing and accessories brands for men and women, with brands mostly in the high street and contemporary arenas. Brands include Guess, Ray-Ban, Lipsy, Maybelline and Michael Kors watches.

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