The 200+ site café chain, which owns Patisserie Valerie, warned yesterday it was on the brink of collapse after uncovering a black hole in its accounts.
Its finance director Chris Marsh was suspended from his role earlier this week.
The Serious Fraud Office has confirmed it has opened a criminal investigation following Marsh's arrest.
Patisserie Holdings said in an update yesterday that there was “no scope for the business to keep trading in its current form” without an immediate cash injection.
The group also owns the Philpotts, Baker & Spice, Flour Power City Bakery and Druckers – Vienna Patisserie brands.
It employs over 2,500 people, according to accounts filed in February.
“The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business,” the company said yesterday.
“As a consequence, the directors and the company's professional advisers are assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading and will update the market in due course.”
Patisserie Holdings revealed Wednesday it had “become aware” of a winding up petition relating to a £1.14m tax bill from Stonebeach Limited, its principal trading subsidiary.