Monday, 17 December, 2018

Patisserie Valerie suspends finance chief over '£20MILLION black hole'

Patisserie Holdings has been notified of 'significant and potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities' Patisserie Holdings has been notified of 'significant and potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities'
Priscilla Morrison | 11 October, 2018, 18:39

The high street cake shop halted trading in its shares yesterday as it announced that it had been notified of "significant and potentially fraudulent" accounting irregularities, and suspended chief financial officer Chris Marsh.

Now, there are 206 stores across the chain and more than 2,500 staff as of May 2018. We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible'.

In the statement, it said: "The company and its advisors are in communication with HMRC with the objective of addressing the petition".

In a flurry of announcements, the board revealed it has just been made aware of a winding up notice issued by HM Revenue and Customs to its principal trading subsidiary Stonebeach Limited in September. The cafe opened in October 2015, and was the first to open in Lancashire.

"As a effect, the directors and the company's professional advisers are assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading and will update the market in due course".

The last trading update was in May, when Patisserie Valerie said its half-year profits were 14.2% up on the previous year at £11.1m and it had cash reserves of £28.8m.

More news: Nokia 7.1 Plus Expected to Launch Today in India

Patisserie Valerie is facing closure without an immediate cash injection, the firm said today. "Given our duty of client confidentiality it would be inappropriate for us to comment".

It also has a partnership with Sainsbury's supermarket.

Patisserie asked that its shares be suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM market while it carries out a full investigation into its true financial position.

In 2001 he co-founded Risk Capital Partners, which owns stakes in companies including Majestic Bingo and swimming goods firm Zoggs.

The ‎company's current situation creates a huge headache for Luke Johnson, one of Britain's best-known and most successful entrepreneurs, who is Patisserie Holdings' executive chairman and largest shareholder.

His website also says he is a board member of sporting goods company Zoggs and Brompton Bicycles.

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