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Patisserie Valerie and Druckers cafes close in Black Country

By John Corser | Wolverhampton | Business | Published:

The Wolverhampton premises of failed cake chain Patisserie Valerie and the Druckers in intu Merry Hill have closed their doors

Patisserie Valerie, on Dudley Street, in Wolverhampton

They were among 71 stores in the Parisserie Valerie estate that administrators shut yesterday, resulting in 920 redundancies.

Patisserie Valerie is in Dudley Street in Wolverhampton city centre.

KPMG, which was appointed on Tuesday evening, said the number consists of 27 standalone stores, 19 Druckers outlets and 25 Patisserie Valerie concessions in Debenhams, Next and at motorway service areas. The company's bakery in Spitalfields has also closed.

The remaining 122 outlets, including Patisserie Valerie in Shrewsbury, will continue to trade while the professional services firm seeks a buyer for the business

Inside Wolverhampton's Patisserie Valerie before it closed

Patisserie Valeries in Debenhams, Telford town centre and Redditch have also shut along with Druckers in Tamworth and Druckers cafes in Upper Mall West and Great Western Arcade in Birmingham city centre.

David Costley-Wood, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: "Since our appointment less than 24 hours ago, we have been pleased with the level of interest we have received in the business, and so remain hopeful of achieving a positive outcome.

"In the meantime, we can reassure customers that across the remaining 122 stores, it is all but business as usual."

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Prior to its collapse, the cake chain employed more than 3,000.

Patisserie Valerie said on Tuesday that discussions with its lenders HSBC and Barclays to extend a standstill agreement on its debts had failed, leaving it with no option but to call in corporate undertakers.

The cake firm's parent company Patisserie Holdings has been grappling with the fallout of an accounting fraud since October.

It said that the extent of fraud meant it was unable to renew its bank loans and it did not have sufficient funding to continue trading

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Patisserie Valerie was a well-known cafe on UK's high streets

Chairman Luke Johnson has extended an unsecured, interest-free loan to help ensure that the January wages are paid to all staff working in the ongoing business.

Last week, Patisserie revealed KPMG had been hired to carry out a review of all options following the accounting scandal which pushed it close to collapse in 2018.

It also unveiled the "devastating" extent of irregularities in its books, which included thousands of false entries into the company's ledgers.

The firm said an initial investigation pointed to cashflow and profitability being worse than previously thought when the problem was first discovered in October.

The discovery of a black hole in the company's accounts in October last year pushed it into a full blown crisis which saw it almost cease trading.

John Corser

By John Corser
Business Reporter - @JohnCorser_Star

Express & Star Business Editor at head office, Wolverhampton. Welcomes all news of companies and business organisations.

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