The owner of crisis-hit chain Patisserie Valerie is looking to raise £20 million to avoid falling into financial collapse.
The French-styled bakery chain, which has a cafe in Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays, said yesterday (October 11) that it would have to stop trading without an ‘immediate’ cash injection.
Patisserie Holdings, the chain’s parent company, chairman Luke Johnson is offering up to £20 million in loans in an effort to keep the company afloat, while it looks to raise £15 million by issuing new shares.
Yesterday Patisserie Holdings said: ‘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 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,’ the company added.
‘Without an immediate injection of capital, the directors are of the view that that is no scope for the business to continue trading in its current form.’
The suspended finance chief of the company, Chris Marsh, was arrested by police overnight, just days after the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.
Patisserie Holdings said earlier this week that it had found a major black hole in its accounts.
This significantly affected the company's cash position, with the firm saying it could lead to a ‘material change’ in its overall financial position.
Mr Marsh was later suspended from his role and accountancy giant PwC drafted in to look through the company's books.
To compound its troubles, Patisserie Holdings has also received a winding-up petition for its principal trading unit Stonebeach, with a hearing now scheduled for October 31.
It relates to £1.14m owed to HMRC.
Two Patisserie Valerie branches in London were closed on Friday, while the chain's parent company teetered on the brink of collapse.
Landlords forfeited the leases on locations in Hammersmith and Edgware Road, citing a breach of contract.
A spokesman for MP Kings Retail SARL, the landlord for the Hammersmith branch, said: ‘We have taken possession of the unit on King Street in question.
‘We are sorry to see the store close but have been forced to act given the tenant was in breach of their lease agreement.’
Passers-by posted images of the forfeiture notices on Twitter.
Love your High Street
The news comes after The News and Johnston Press launched their national Love Your High Street campaign with the aim of focusing more attention on what can be done now to support small shops and businesses.