Future Of Southside's Patisserie Valerie Cafe Uncertain

After annoucement that the chain is going into administration due to fraud

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

The future of the Patisserie Valerie café in Southside is unclear after an announcement that the company which owns the chain has gone into administration.

On Tuesday (21 January) Patisserie Holdings plc had issued a statement saying that they were in discussions with their banks about future training, but this Wednesday it was announced that they were going into administration as a direct result of the ‘significant fraud’ discovered in the company last year.

The company’s finance director, Chris Marsh, was arrested after a black hole was discovered in the accounts last October. Luke Johnson, who is chairman of Patisserie Valerie and its largest shareholder with a 37% stake, pledged to inject millions to keep the chain's parent company, Patisserie Holdings, from being wound-up due to unpaid tax.

It is understood that Mr Johnson is providing short term cash support to allow staff to be paid through January and then administrators KPMG will be assessing the profitability of each branch to decide which to keep open with a view to selling the business.

The company's suspended finance chief Mr Marsh was arrested after the company admitted it had uncovered "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities".

The black hole in the company's finances is reported to be as much as £20 million.

The first Patisserie Valerie café was opened on Soho's Frith Street in 1926 by Belgian-born Madame Valerie. It was destroyed in World War II and a new site opened at nearby Old Compton Street.

Now the chain has 206 cafes across the country, employing around 2,000 staff.


January 22, 2019