Patisserie Valerie shares suspended as black hole found

Marco Green
October 11, 2018

The chain, which has a branch in Carlisle, announced on Wednesday that it was facing a fight for survival after receiving a winding up petition over unpaid taxes and unearthing potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.

Shares in Patisserie Valerie have been suspended after the company discovered "significant, potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities".

The news comes after The News and Johnston Press launched their national Love Your High Street campaign with the aim of focusing more attention on what can be done now to support small shops and businesses.

In its statement, the firm said that over the past 24 hours it had "undertaken further investigation into the financial status of the company".

Directors now believed that a "immediate injection of capital" was needed and were "assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading".

As a outcome, its shares with suspended from trading on AIM, the Alternative Investment Market while it "conducts a full investigation with its legal and professional advisors into its true financial position".

Finance chief Chris Marsh has since been suspended from his role and accountancy giant PwC drafted in to look through the company's books.

Patisserie's future was originally thrown into doubt on Wednesday when shares were suspended following the discovery of a major black hole in its accounts.

Entrepreneur Johnson bought a 70 per cent stake in the business in 2006, and still holds a 37 per cent interest, having enjoyed success with other chains like Pizza Express. "We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible", the company's chairman Luke Johnson said.

In the six months to 31 March this year the group reported revenue of £60.5m, a 9pc increase year-on-year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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