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Patisserie Valerie shareholder Luke Johnson seeks lifeline from HSBC and Barclays

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Troubled bakery chain Patisserie Valerie’s biggest shareholder, Luke Johnson is seeking cash injection for the company from Barclays and HSBC.

If this cash lifeline were to be rejected then it is looking likely the company could go in to administration with accountancy giant KPMG, placing 200 cafes and almost 3,000 staff jobs in jeopardy.

Patisserie Holdings trading shares were suspended in October 2018 after “potentially fraudulent” accounting had been flagged. Patisserie Valerie’s former finance director Chris Marsh was arrested by Hertfordshire police, he was then released pending further investigations. The Serious Fraud Office has since started a criminal investigation.

Patisserie Holding gave a statement to the Stock exchange last week, they said they operate 200 cafes and has 3,000 staff across the UK.

On Tuesday evening Patisserie Holdings said, “The work carried out by the company’s forensic accountants since October has revealed that the misstatement of its accounts was extensive, involving very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts.

“Among other manipulations, this involved thousands of false entries into the company’s ledgers.

“It will take some time before a reliable trading outlook can be completed while the above work streams progress.

“The initial indications from the work carried out to date is that the cashflow and profitability of the business has been overstated in the past and is materially below that announced in the trading update on 12 October 2018, which was based on limited work carried out over a 48-hour period.”

Luke Johnson the chairman put £20m of his own money to keep the company afloat, later on other shareholders paid in £15m, £10m of this paid back Johnsons loan to the company.




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