Gunwharf Quays chain Patisserie Valerie needs £20 million to avoid financial collapse

Gunwharf Quays chain Patisserie Valerie needs £20 million to avoid financial collapse

Gunwharf Quays chain Patisserie Valerie needs £20 million to avoid financial collapse

This morning a statement to the stock market from Patisserie Holdings, the chain's owner, said: "The company has been made aware that Chris Marsh, who is now suspended from his role as company finance director, was arrested by the police last night and has been released on bail".

The firm said on Thursday: "Without an immediate injection of capital, the directors are of the view that that is no scope for the business to continue trading in its current form". The company did not comment on this.The business was listed on the stock market in 2014 when its shares were floated at 170p a share.

In a statement, the SFO said: "Following this morning's Regulatory News Service announcement by Patisserie Holdings PLC, the SFO confirms that its director has opened a criminal investigation into an individual".

In a trading update yesterday afternoon Patisserie Valerie said: "The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business".

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Patisserie Holdings - which owns additional brands like Druckers, Philpotts, Baker & Spice - trades from more than 200 stores, including three in the north and also has a partnership with Sainsbury's, with branded counters present in the supermarket.

The owner of the Patisserie Valerie chain said this had significantly impacted its cash position and may lead to a material change in its overall financial position.

Stores are still trading, although a branch in Hammersmith was shut today after a landlord terminated its lease due to non-payment of rent.

The firm said it had also raised another £15m by issuing new shares.

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After discovering that it faced a winding up hearing, Patisserie Holdings said it was in communication with HMRC as it scrambled to "understand better the financial position of the group".

Mr Johnson, a serial entrepreneur, is the largest shareholder in Patisserie Holdings with a 37% stake.

The first Patisserie Valerie café was opened in 1926 by Belgian born founder Madame Valerie.

"We are going to cease new openings for a period and focus on making the most of what we have, we are going to stabilise our relations with suppliers, landlords, etc., we're going to beef up our systems and controls", Mr Johnson said in an interview with PA.

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Marsh, who joined the company in 2006, was an integral part of the company's growth.

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