Patisserie Valerie is on the verge of sliding into administration without an immediate injection of cash.
The business was warned yesterday that there is a hole in its accounts of more than £20m.
Patisserie Holdings have issued an update after revealing that it had learned of “potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities”. Chris Marsh the financial director of Patisserie Valerie was arrested by police on Thursday night and has been released on bail.
Park Post visited Cheltenham’s much loved Patisserie Valerie, where staff said they weren’t prepared to comment about the company’s financial position.
Customers said they were disappointed about the threat to such a familiar name on the high street. David Molesdale, a regular customer said he was disappointed about Patisserie’s plight, however he also said, “I have a loyalty scheme with Barclays bank that allows me free coffee in several cafe’s so I will simply go to Pret or Costa”.
Despite the uncertainty of the company’s future, the café in the High Street is still advertising a part-time front of house position in their shop window. Patisserie Holdings currently employs more than 2,500 people nationwide. Two hundred stores are at risk of closure if Patisserie’s administrators cannot find new backers.
It’s not the only high street store that is in trouble, neighboring store ‘Coast’ is set to close its doors due to the company falling into administration. This looks like a current trend for Cheltenham’s favourite brand’s, which will be next?
Luke Johnson, an entrepreneur and stakeholder in the company, has supplied the required £20m to give Patisserie Valerie the “immediate liquidity” needed to keep it afloat.
On Friday the company’s finance director Chris Marsh was arrested and released on bail.
The Serious Fraud Office said it opened a criminal investigation into an individual, though they gave no further information and did not name them.