£20M BLACK HOLE FIRM RESCUED
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.