Patisserie Valerie Finance Chief Arrested, Company Faces Uncertain Future

Patisserie Valerie store

Chris Marsh finance director of Patisserie Holdings has been arrested by police and released on bail

The developments come after the Serious Fraud Office stated it had "opened a criminal investigation into an individual" on Friday, without mentioning names.

Johnson is considering making a "significant" cash injection if the company fails to secure funding, the Times reported Friday, without specifying where it got the information.

It follows a nightmare week for a business that had a stock market value of almost £450 million on Monday morning.

"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".

The company, with professional advisers from accountants PwC, spent 24 hours investigating the financial status of the company.

Stores are still trading, although a branch in Hammersmith was shut today after a landlord terminated its lease due to non-payment of rent.

Historical statements on the cash position of the company were misstated and subject to fraudulent activity and accounting irregularities, directors said.

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It has also been earmarked for "general working capital purposes and committed capital expenditure", Patisserie Holdings said.

Adding to the company's headache this week was an announcement that the board had just learned of a winding-up petition that had been filed against its main subsidiary by the taxman.

Patisserie Holdings has more than 200 stores - the vast majority of them under the patisserie Valerie brand. "We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible". He had previously advised many companies over the previous 18 years in both finance director and consultancy roles.

Mr Johnson, who invested in Patisserie Valerie in 2006, is a serial entrepreneur who is best known for taking control of Pizza Express in 1993 before selling out in 1999.

The company's updated statement said it was taking two pieces of action to shore up its finances.

Mr Marsh is said to have qualified as a chartered accountant with Vantis Plc (formerly Morton Thornton) and also qualified as a chartered tax accountant with Ernst & Young.

The cafe chain revealed the extent of its problems on Friday when it said it needed £20 million immediately to prevent its collapse, warning that core earnings for the current financial year would likely be £12 million, 60% lower than consensus.

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