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Patisserie Valerie Saved By £20m Loan From Chairman

By Dave Simpson

Patisserie Valerie, the British café chain rocked by an accounting scandal and the arrest of its finance boss, has been saved thanks to £20 million of loans from its chairman, entrepreneur Luke Johnson.

Patisserie Holdings said that Johnson had stumped up loans, giving it the breathing space to raise £15.7 million in a heavily discounted placing announced later in the day.

The new equity and debt injection helped save 2,500 jobs and stave off the company's collapse, after it was plunged into crisis on last week when accounting irregularities emerged and Britain's tax office said it was owed £1.14 million.

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The café chain revealed the extent of its problems on Friday October 12 when it said it needed £20 million immediately to prevent its collapse, warning that core earnings for the current financial year would likely be £12 million, 60% lower than consensus.

Suspension And Arrest

Patisserie Valerie said earlier on October 12 that its suspended finance director Chris Marsh had been arrested and released on bail.

Britain's anti-fraud agency said separately it had opened a criminal investigation into an unidentified individual in connection with the scandal.

Patisserie Holdings and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) declined to comment further. Marsh did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Reuters on social media site LinkedIn.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

 

 

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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