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Patisserie Valerie suppliers' wrath at late payment practices

Wednesday 19th December, 2018

MPs on the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee have written to Steve Francis, the new chief executive of the café chain, Patisserie Valerie, after The Times revealed that the company had faced a series of winding up petitions from creditors.

The influential Commons committee has requested details of Patisserie Valerie’s payment practices with suppliers amid concerns about lengthy delays. One small photography business was paid only this month after a two-year wait, while another supplier turned up at the company’s office with baseball bats, according to a source.

In October, long standing finance director Chris Marsh was arrested by police after the cafe chain revealed it had uncovered significant accounting irregularities. He has been placed on bail and is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office.

New CEO Steve Francis has recently completed rebuilding the chain’s management team by hiring ex-Starbucks executive Rhys Iley as Commercial Director and appointing Nick Perrin as Interim Group Finance Director.

Patisserie Valerie said: “While the current board and new management were not made aware of these allegations, the current management team is reforming the company’s payment processes to ensure suppliers and other creditors are paid on time.”