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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Britain's Patisserie Valerie close to collapse, warns owner

The cafe chain said it needed an immediate injection of capital

Patisserie Holdings is facing a 'winding up' order after financial irregularities were identified. Getty
Patisserie Holdings is facing a 'winding up' order after financial irregularities were identified. Getty

British café chain Patisserie Valerie is on the brink of collapse, its owner warned on Thursday, after the firm uncovered "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities".

The company said it would need “an immediate injection of capital” to carry on trading following an investigation into its financial status prompted by the accounting discovery.

Patisserie Holdings, which owns five brands including Patisserie Valerie, announced earlier this week that it was suspending its CFO Chris Marsh.

Mr Marsh was subsequently arrested on Thursday night by Hertfordshire police and released on bail.

The firm also said that it had learned that UK tax authorities were pursuing its main trading subsidiary- Stonebeach- for £1.14 million (Dh5.5 million). It said the board had been unaware that HM Revenue and Customs had filed a winding-up petition in September over an unpaid tax bill.

In a statement released on Thursday, Patisserie Holdings said it had found "a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business".

"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," it added.

The chain, which opened its first café in 1926, has around 2,500 employees.

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Read more: Patisserie Valerie suspends CFO after discovering potential accounting fraud

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