Patisserie Valerie rescue package to avert financial collapse

Patisserie Valerie store

The company's parent firm, Patisserie Holdings, said in a stock market announcement on Friday that Chris Marsh, who was suspended from his role earlier this week, has since been released.

Most of the money raised will be used to repay a £10m bridging loan from executive chairman and 37 per cent shareholder Luke Johnson today, created to give the firm immediate liquidity.

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

Hertfordshire Police later said: "A 44-year old man from St Albans has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation".

"Based on the current information available to them, the directors believe that upon completion of this equity and debt fundraising, the group will be able to continue trading in its current form for the foreseeable future", the company said in a statement.

Patisserie Valerie owner Patisserie Holdings CAKEP.L said on Friday that Chris Marsh, its suspended finance director, was arrested by the police on Thursday night and had been released on bail.

"He has been released under investigation".

As well as grappling with a potentially fraudulent multimillion-pound accounting black hole, Patisserie Holdings has been slapped with a winding up petition over £1.14 million in unpaid taxes to HMRC.

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"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", it added.

"Due to the nature of the settlement period of the placing, Luke Johnson will commit a further bridging loan facility of up to £10 million, to provide the company with the ability to fund immediate outstanding liabilities".

Patisserie Valerie in Norwich city centre.

Patisserie Valerie trades from more than 200 stores, including one at Resorts World Birmingham at the NEC and its branded counters in Sainsbury's stores.

A spokesperson for landlord MP Kings Retail SARL commented: "We have taken possession of the unit on King Street in question".

'We are sorry to see the store close but have been forced to act given the tenant was in breach of their lease agreement'.

The company has said this afternoon that the company's accounts and cash position were "mis-stated and subject to fraudulent activity".

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