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Patisserie Valerie finance director arrested

Friday 12th October, 2018

The long standing finance director of Patisserie Valerie was arrested by police after the cafe chain revealed on Wednesday it had uncovered significant accounting irregularities.

The Serious Fraud Office said it had "opened a criminal investigation into an individual" and the Financial Reporting Council "are looking into this matter carefully."

The BBC reported on Thursday, Patisserie Holdings - the owner of the cafe chain - said it needed "an immediate injection of capital" to continue trading in its current form.

In a brief announcement to the stock market, the firm said: "The company has been made aware that Chris Marsh, who is currently suspended from his role as company finance director, was arrested by the police last night and has been released on bail."

The majority of Patisserie Valerie's stores are continuing to operate, and it’s believed that talks are currently taking place in a bid to save the business. Although two London stores were closed initially, one was closed due breach of lease agreements.

On Thursday, Patisserie Holdings said it had found "a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business".

The firm’s board was also recently made aware of a winding-up petition against its principal subsidiary Stonebeach, from HMRC over £1.14m of tax.

Mr Marsh joined Patisserie Valerie as finance director in 2006, before then he had a number of finance director and consultancy roles that included two AIM-listed companies.

Patisserie Valerie part of a chain with 206 stores which employs more than 2,000 people. Mr Johnson is the executive chairman of Patisserie Holdings which owns Patisserie Valerie, Druckers, Philpotts, Baker & Spice and Flour Power City.