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Patisserie Valerie’s finance chief arrested overnight, with chain on the brink of collapse

PUBLISHED: 09:29 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:29 12 October 2018

Patisserie Valerie in Norwich city centre. Picture: Archant

Patisserie Valerie in Norwich city centre. Picture: Archant

Archant

The owner of Patisserie Valerie has revealed that Chris Marsh, who was suspended from his role as finance chief earlier this week, was arrested by police last night and released on bail.

The cake chain has said that if it doesn’t receive an “immediate” cash injection it could collapse into administration at some point today.

The chain has shops in Norwich, Ipswich, and Bury St Edmunds.

It was revealed yesterday by owners Patisserie Holdings that the chain had found a “black hole” in its finances.

It is understood that if chairman Luke Johnson, the group’s majority shareholder, or another rescuer has not stepped forward with emergency funds during last night, the firm will be forced to appoint administrators.

Mr Johnson, a serial entrepreneur, is the largest shareholder in Patisserie Holdings with a 37% stake.

PwC, which is working with the firm on its financial position, is the most likely to carry out the insolvency, but several other corporate undertakers are also thought to be waiting in the wings.

Emergency fundraising talks overseen by advisers to Patisserie Holdings were ongoing last night. Other options on the table include a loan or a rights issue.

As well as grappling with a potentially fraudulent multimillion-pound accounting black hole, Patisserie Holdings has been slapped with a winding up petition over £1.14 million in unpaid taxes to HMRC.

The firm said on Thursday: “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.”

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