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Patisserie Valerie collapses into administration and puts 3,000 jobs at risk

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Photo: Reuters

Bakery and cafe chain Patisserie Valerie (CAKE.L) has fallen into administration and has put around 3,000 jobs at risk.

It said on Tuesday afternoon that it failed to secure a financial lifeline from its banks, after declaring on 21 January that it is “still in discussions with its bankers to extend the standstill of its bank facilities beyond 18 January.”

Patisserie Valerie first told the market it had discovered accounting irregularities in October.  On 16 January, it said that the multimillion pound fraud on its books is far more significant than first thought, involving “thousands of false entries into the Company’s ledgers.”

It added that forensic accountants had discovered “the misstatement of its accounts was extensive, involving very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts.”

It will take some time before a reliable trading outlook can be completed,” it said.

Shares in Patisserie Valerie were suspended in October last year, following the discovery, and have yet to restart trading. The group had previously been valued at £450m. In that same month, the company’s finance director, Chris Marsh, was arrested by Hertfordshire police and bailed. He has since resigned. The Serious Fraud Office has also opened a criminal investigation into an individual but has not specified who that individual is.