Struggling chain Patisserie Valerie just got a lifeline today after more than 99 per cent of its shareholders backed a rescue plan to issue £15m of new shares.
The chain was on the verge of insolvency after a £40m black hole appeared in the company’s accounts last month. Former chief financial officer Chris Marsh, who was arrested and released on bail, resigned last week following his suspension.
Johnson told shareholders at the meeting today: “I would like to reassure you that we’re doing everything we can to address the situation and to get to the bottom of what happened, safeguard the company and secure its future prosperity. It will not be easy but we are determined to succeed.” Johnson has also provided a separate three-year £10m loan to the company.
Today’s emergency general meeting was, however, not so smooth with reports of shareholders accusing Johnson of “holding a gun” to their heads over the rescue deal.
One shareholder told media: “I have a stake in a company that is subject to bad management and subject to malevolence. If we get new shareholders, frankly, I want the company to go to hell.”
Shares in the group remain suspended at 429p.