Arrest Made As Patisserie Valerie Chain Is On The Brink Of Collapse

Fears for Wimbledon branch after 'black hole' in parent company finances is revealed

The Patisserie Valerie chain, which has a branch on Wimbledon town centre’s Piazza, is on the brink of collapse following the discovery of a massive potential fraud which could total over £20 million.

Its suspended finance chief Chris Marsh was arrested by police overnight just days after the company revealed the potential fraud.

The owner of Patisserie Valerie had yesterday (October 11) warned that without an immediate injection of capital there is "no scope for the business to continue trading in its current form."

Patisserie Holdings revealed it had learned of "potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities" resulting in the misstatement of its financial position. It immediately suspended trading in its shares.

It said today: "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. Further updates will be released in due course as appropriate".

Hertfordshire Police said: "A 44-year old man from St Albans has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation. He has been released under investigation."

The company has over 200 branches in the UK and employs 2,500 staff.

The company said that investigations had prompted it to conclude that there was "a material shortfall between the reported financial status of the business and the current financial status of the business".

The chain specialises in hand-made cakes, and its menu includes continental breakfasts, lunches and teas and coffees. It also specialises in gelato and confectionary. The Wimbledon branch of the chain (below) opened in October 2014.

Patisserie Valerie in Wimbledon

It was not immediately clear whether stores would be able to remain open for the time being or what the future would hold for the company's 2,500 staff.

The options open to the company could include going into administration.

October 12, 2018