Patisserie Valerie placed in purgatory

Patisserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie, the bakery with several Belfast outlets, has been thrown into despair due to taxman filing court proceedings to wind-up the popular coffee chain. 

Investors were left shocked after a “potential material misstatement” on Wednesday has left the future of Patisserie Valerie in doubt.  

Patisserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie faces a troubling time ahead.

Patisserie Valerie’s cash position had been “significantly impacted”, the company said and suspended chief financial officer Chris Marsh. 

Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson, the company’s executive chairman and largest shareholder with a 37pc stake, admitted to “deep concern” about accounting irregularities 

Amid scant initial details, Patisserie Valerie issued a second statement on Wednesday afternoon. Owed £1.14m, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) filed a winding-up petition at the High Court on September 14, which was subsequently advertised formally in the Gazette on October, 5.  

Patisserie Valerie has not commented on how this will affect their Belfast branches.  

Belfast has had a testing several months for the retail industry if Patisserie Valerie were close operations it just adds to the pain of trying to get people shopping in Belfast City Centre.  

They currently have locations in Donegall Square, Castle Lane and Upper Galwally, along with two other stores in the Republic of Ireland.  

The firm had plans in 2016 to rapidly expand the business to match the like of Greggs opening stores across the island of Ireland.  

These plans look to be in doubt during this period of financial uncertainty.  

A hearing date has been set for October 31. Patisserie Valerie’s board said it had “become aware” of the winding-up petition on Wednesday. 

The future of the company has been thrown into doubt even if it can come to an agreement with HMRC, experts warned. Other creditors – perhaps with larger sums owing – could “piggyback” the petition and demand debts are paid. 

The winding-up petition is against Stonebeach, its principal trading subsidiary, and had been filed at the High Court of Justice on 14 September. It was listed in the London Gazette, the official government bulletin, on 5 October. A hearing is scheduled for 31 October, the company said. 

The company said it was “in communication with HMRC with the objective of addressing the petition”. 

“The company continues to engage with its professional advisers to understand better the financial position of the group and will make further announcements in due course,” it said. 

Patisserie Holdings, which was listed on the stock market in 2014, had earlier warned that the discovery of the accounting irregularities could lead to “potential material misstatement” of its accounts. 

Patisserie Valerie has not commented on how this will affect the future of their stores, or if it will impact their Northern Ireland branches, but this is not the end of this saga.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *