Luke Johnson´s Patisserie Valerie faces winding up order

12 Octobre, 2018, 17:40 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Patisserie Holdings had a market value this week of almost 450 million pounds. Pic Patisserie Valerie

A raft of advisers, believed to include forensic accountants from PwC and lawyers from Osborne Clarke, have been been assisting the chain in getting to the bottom of a "potentially fraudulent" accounting mis-statement.

The High Street cake shop and continental tea room says it could shut down unless it gets an "immediate cash injection".

It further disclosed that it had just learned of a winding-up petition that had been filed against its main subsidiary relating to more than £1m owed to the United Kingdom tax office.

Patisserie's future was originally thrown into doubt on Wednesday when shares were suspended following the discovery of a major black hole in its accounts.

Patisserie Holdings said it was in contact with HMRC about addressing the petition against the subsidiary.

The winding up hearing is scheduled for October 31 and Patisserie Holdings said it is in communication with HMRC as it scrambles to "understand better the financial position of the group".

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The company added that Chris Marsh, its chief financial officer, has been suspended from his role.

Patisserie has therefore asked that its shares 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.

In May, the firm reported a 14.2% rise in pre-tax profit for the six months ended March 31, up from £9.7 million to £11.1 million.

Johnson, Patisserie Holdings' executive chairman and biggest shareholder, said the business was "deeply concerned" about the developments. Revenue grew 9.7% to GBP114.2 million from GBP104.1 million the year before.

It also has a partnership with Sainsbury's supermarket.

The crisis at Patisserie Holdings, which is led by leisure industry entrepreneur Luke Johnson, comes amid growing scrutiny in Britain of the way companies' books are checked, with the country's competition regulator launching a review of the audit sector on Tuesday.

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