Cafe chain collapsed into administration on Tuesday and two outlets in Liverpool city centre and one in Southport have closed with immediate effect. Tony McDonough reports
All three Patisserie Valerie outlets in Merseyside have closed with immediate effect with the loss of 37 jobs following the firm’s collapse into administration on Tuesday.
Administrators KPMG announced around 52 outlets of the posh cakes cafe chain, along with 19 Druckers stores, would close with the loss of 920 jobs. They will now attempt to find a buyer for the remaining 122 outlets.
There were two Patisserie Valerie’s in Liverpool city centre – one in Whitechapel which employed 17 people and a concession within the Liverpool One Debenhams store employing a further 13 people. The firm’s Southport store is also being axed with the loss of seven jobs.
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”.
The joint administrators and their team says they are continuing to provide “all necessary support and assistance” to those employees who have lost their jobs, including providing them with the information needed to apply for monies owed from the Redundancy Payments Service.
David Costley-Wood, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “Since our appointment less than 24 hours ago, we have been pleased with the level of interest we have received in the business, and so remain hopeful of achieving a positive outcome.
“In the meantime, we can reassure customers that across the remaining 122 stores, it is all but business as usual.”