Fast-fashion etailer has set the ball rolling on an acquisition of bankrupt US brand Nasty Gal for $20m.

Boohoo, which snapped up earlier this month, has entered into an asset purchase agreement to buy Nasty Gal, aimed at “fashion-forward, free-thinking young women”.

It said the “bold and distinctive” fashion brand would complement its offer and accelerate its growth in the US.

Nasty Gal filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last month.

The Boohoo deal is subject to the Bankruptcy Court’s approval, and may not complete if higher or more favourable offers are obtained during the month-long auction process to follow. 

Boohoo joint chief executives Mahmud Kamani and Carol Kane said: “Should we be successful in acquiring Nasty Gal it would represent a fantastic opportunity to add such a well-established, global brand to the Boohoo family.

“Following our recent acquisition of we believe this would represent an ideal next step in inspiring an ever-growing range of young customers internationally.”

Boohoo said the proposed transaction has the potential to accelerate its international growth, particularly in the US, building on its existing customer reach and product range worldwide.

It also stated intentions to leverage Nasty Gal’s product development, supply and distribution “expertise”.

Nasty Gal reported sales of $77.1m in the year to February 1, but made a $21m loss after tax and operation costs.

Boohoo’s proposed transaction, however, relates only to the acquisition of intellectual property assets and excludes all operating costs.