£20M BLACK HOLE FIRM RES­CUED

Daily Record - - NEWS -

BY KA­LY­EENA MAKO­RTOFF THOU­SANDS of work­ers at trou­bled Patis­serie Va­lerie were breath­ing a sigh of re­lief last night as a £20mil­lion res­cue pack­age was be­ing ar­ranged to save the firm.

The news fol­lowed the sus­pen­sion of the cafe chain’s fi­nance chief who was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of fraud. It came just days af­ter the firm dis­cov­ered a black hole in their ac­counts.

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

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.”

The probe is be­ing led by the Se­ri­ous Fraud Of­fice who con­firmed that a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way.

Patis­serie Hold­ings said on Wed­nes­day they had been no­ti­fied of “sig­nif­i­cant, and po­ten­tially fraud­u­lent, ac­count­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties and there­fore a po­ten­tial ma­te­rial mis-state­ment of the com­pany’s ac­counts”.

This sig­nif­i­cantly af­fected the com­pany’s cash po­si­tion, with the firm say­ing it could lead to a “ma­te­rial change” in their fi­nan­cial po­si­tion.

Patis­serie Hold­ings chair­man Luke John­son is of­fer­ing up to £20mil­lion in loans to keep the firm, who em­ploy nearly 3000, afloat while they look to raise £15mil­lion by is­su­ing new shares.

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