Belfast Telegraph

Patisserie Valerie faces the precipice over 'fraud' in accounts

Entrepreneur: Luke Johnson
Entrepreneur: Luke Johnson

By Kalyeena Makortoff

Cake chain Patisserie Valerie, which has a workforce of around 60 here, will cease trading without an "immediate" cash injection after discovering a major black hole in its finances.

The cafe's parent company Patisserie Holdings made the admission in a market announcement after being slapped with a winding up petition over unpaid taxes and unearthing potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities a day earlier.

It has two coffee shops in Belfast city centre and a third in Forestside Shopping Centre.

Patisserie Holdings said: "The company, in conjunction with its professional advisers, has during the last 24 hours undertaken further investigation into the financial status of the company.

"The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business," it added.

"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."

It said the company's directors and professional advisers are "assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading".

Patisserie Holdings said it would update the market in due course.

The company's future was originally thrown into question when shares were suspended following the discovery of the black hole in its accounts. It said it had been notified of "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the company's accounts".

Entrepreneur Luke Johnson is Patisserie Holdings' largest shareholder.

Belfast Telegraph