Staff in the dark over café’s future
PATISSERIE VALERIE CHAIN HOPES TO FIND A BUYER AMID TAX BLACK HOLE
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