Asos has launched a bid to raise £500m to spearhead its global expansion drive.

The fast-fashion etailer revealed its plans to offer a tranche of convertible bonds after markets closed yesterday. 

Asos said the issuing of the bonds would provide it with “additional flexibility to continue to invest” in its global growth strategy, while also helping the business refinance its February acquisition of Arcadia brands including Topshop.

The online operator has put international expansion at the heart of its strategy and sees opportunity for further growth overseas as the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.  

Settlement and delivery of the bonds is expected to take place around April 16. 

Details of Asos’ plan to raise £500m of new debt emerged following the publication of its half-year results yesterday. 

The etailer posted a 253% spike in pre-tax profit to £106.4m in the six months to February 28, as sales jumped 24% to £1.98bn. It said full-year results would now come in ahead of previous expectations as a result. 

Sales in Asos’ European markets rose 18% during the period, while growth in its US and other international markets came in at the slower rate of 16%. 

Those sales increases lagged behind the 39% growth reported in its core UK business. 

Asos said in its results filing yesterday that it was “increasing focus and investment to support [the] global growth opportunity” following the “acceleration in online penetration and consolidation in fashion retail” taking place across the globe. 

Asos chief executive Nick Beighton said: “Looking ahead, while we are mindful of the short-term uncertainty and potential economic consequences of the continuing pandemic, we are confident in the momentum we have built and excited about delivering on our ambition of being the number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.”

Meanwhile, Asos’ fierce online rival Boohoo is on an expansion drive of its own, revealing this morning that it has agreed a long-term lease on a new warehouse in Daventry.

The deal will secure 500 jobs and future investment in the site could create a further 1,000 roles in the future. Boohoo said it expects to invest more than £50m in the warehouse in the coming years to increase capacity.

The addition of the Daventry depot to Boohoo’s existing warehouses in Burnley, Sheffield and Wellingborough provides the etailer with net sales capacity in excess of £4bn.