Staff in the dark over café’s fu­ture

PATIS­SERIE VA­LERIE CHAIN HOPES TO FIND A BUYER AMID TAX BLACK HOLE

Burton Mail - - News - By BEN WAL­DRON ben­jamin.wal­dron@reach­plc.com @BenWal­dron96

Coop­ers Square STAFF at pop­u­lar Bur­ton town cen­tre cafe Patis­serie Va­lerie are re­main­ing hope­ful that a buyer will be found as a wind­ing-up hear­ing looms for the stricken na­tional chain.

The group has more than 200 out­lets across the UK, in­clud­ing a prom­i­nent out­let in the heart of Coop­ers Square Shop­ping Cen­tre, in Bur­ton.

It was re­vealed on Thurs­day, Oc­to­ber 11 that the hand-made cake spe­cial­ist, whose ori­gins date back nearly 100 years, could col­lapse into ad­min­is­tra­tion im­mi­nently.

Par­ent firm Patis­serie Hold­ings posted a stock mar­ket up­date re­veal­ing an im­me­di­ate cash in­jec­tion was needed af­ter a “ma­jor black hole” was found in its fi­nances, ac­cord­ing to the Mir­ror.

This re­lates to £1.14 mil­lion owed to HMRC and was filed at the High Court of Jus­tice, Com­pa­nies Court.

The man­ager at the Bur­ton site told the Bur­ton Mail that staff are wait­ing for news, but re­main hope­ful that the com­pany will find a buyer.

Mar­garet Pawlac said: “We’re just wait­ing for news at the mo­ment. Pos­i­tive think­ing though, we’ll find a buyer.”

A wind­ing-up hear­ing has been sched­uled for Oc­to­ber 31. Patis­serie Hold­ings has said it has been no­ti­fied of “sig­nif­i­cant, and po­ten­tially fraud­u­lent, ac­count­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and there­fore a po­ten­tial ma­te­rial mis-state­ment of the com­pany’s accounts.”

The firm, which has un­der­gone enor­mous growth over the past decade, asked for its shares to be sus­pended from trad­ing on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change’s ju­nior AIM mar­ket while it car­ries out a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into its true fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

Yes­ter­day morn­ing Patis­serie Va­lerie’s fi­nance chief Chris Marsh was ar­rested and re­leased on bail.

A state­ment to the Mir­ror from Hert­ford­shire Po­lice said: “A 44-year-old man from St Al­bans has been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of fraud by false rep­re­sen­ta­tion. He has been re­leased un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

A state­ment re­leased on Thurs­day read: “The com­pany, in con­junc­tion with its pro­fes­sional ad­vis­ers, has dur­ing the last 24 hours, un­der­taken fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the com­pany.

“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.

“With­out an im­me­di­ate in­jec­tion of cap­i­tal, the direc­tors are of the view that there is no scope for the busi­ness to con­tinue trad­ing in its cur­rent form.”

Patis­serie Va­lerie in

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