Patisserie Valerie's Suspended Finance Director Is Arrested

Fears for local branch as 'black hole' in parent company's finances is discovered

Patisserie Valerie Warns It Is 'On Brink Of Collapse'  in Wandsworth SW18
Wandworth's Patisserie Valerie. Image: Google Streetview

The Patisserie Valerie chain, which has a branch inside Debenhams in Southside, is on the brink of collapse following the discovery of a massive potential fraud which could total over £20 million.

Suspended finance chief Chris Marsh has now been arrested by police just days after the company revealed the potential fraud.

The owner of Patisserie Valerie warned yesterday (October 11th) that without an immediate injection of capital there is "no scope for the business to continue trading in its current form".

Patisserie Holdings revealed it had learned of "potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities" resulting in the misstatement of its financial position. It immediately suspended trading in its shares.

It said today (October 12th), "The company has ben made aware that Chris Marsh, who is currently suspended from his role as company finance director, was arrested by the police last night and has been released on bail."

Hertfordshire police said, "A 44 year old man from St Albans has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been released under investigation."

Patisserie Valerie has over 200 branches in the UK and employs 2,500 staff.

The company said yesterday that investigations over the last 24 hours had prompted it to conclude that there was "a material shortfall between the reported financial status of the business and the current financial status of the business".

The chain specialises in hand-made cakes, and its menu includes continental breakfasts, lunches and teas and coffees. It also specialised in gelato and confectionary.

It was not immediately clear whether stores would be able to remain open for the time being or what the future would hold for the company's 2,500 staff.

The options open to the company could include going into administration.

October 12, 2018