Parent Company Patisserie Holdings, which owns the 200-strong network on cafes and concessions, collapsed into administration on Tuesday. Tony McDonough reports
Posh cakes cafe chain Patisserie Valerie collapsed into administration on Tuesday placing the future of its three Merseyside outlets in doubt.
Parent Company Patisserie Holdings, which owns the 200-strong network on cafes and concessions, has been in a battle for survival since October when a £40m black hole in its finances, caused by possible fraud, was discovered.
In the last few days the company had been in talks with bankers as it sought a lifeline. However, in a statement to the stock market on Tuesday, Patisserie Holdings said that as a “direct result of the significant fraud”, it had been unable to renew its bank facilities and “therefore regrettably, the business does not have sufficient funding to meet its liabilities”.
There are three Patisserie Valerie outlets in Merseyside – in Whitechapel and inside Debenhams in Liverpool city centre, and in Lord Street in Southport.
Across the UK is employs 3,000 people and administrators from KPMG were optimistic a buyer for the business could be found. However, national media reports claim around 70 outlets will have to close with the loss of around 900 jobs. It is not yet clear which outlets would be axed.
Joint administrator Blair Nimmo said: “Our intention is to continue trading across the profitable stores, as collectively the brands have a strong presence on the high street and have proven very popular with consumers.
“At the same time, we will be seeking a buyer for the business and are hopeful of a good level of interest.”
Patisserie Holdings also owns the Druckers Vienna Patisserie, Philpotts, Baker & Spice and Flour Power City brands.