Patisserie Valerie's finance director resigns ahead of crunch meeting [Updated]

By Stefan Chomka contact

- Last updated on GMT

Finance director Chris Marsh resigns from trouble-hit Patisserie Valerie

Related tags: Casual dining, bakery

Chris Marsh has resigned as finance director at Patisserie Holdings with immediate effect, following his suspension from the beleaguered bakery chain earlier this month.

In an update, the company says that the board has accepted his resignation, while reserving its position in respect of any potential claims it may have against him.

Marsh was suspended from his role at Patisserie Holdings on 9 October 2018​ and was subsequently arrested before being released on bail, following the discovery of “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities” that had led to a £20m accounting ‘black hole’.

Earlier this week Patisserie Holdings said it was pleased to announced that the winding up petition against Stonebeach Limited, its principal trading subsidiary, had been dismissed by the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts.

Chairman Luke Johnson is set to bail out the group with a £20m loan​. Patisserie Holdings says Johnson is expected to provide a £10m, three-year loan on an interest-free basis and commit to a further bridging loan of up to £10m to enable the bakery chain to keep trading.
According to The Times​, Patisserie Holdings has drafted in investigators from US professional services firm Alverez & Marsal to review its tax liabilities​ amid questions about how a £1.14m bill went undiscovered by the board. They are said to be working alongside accounts at PwC.

Board members will meet shareholders on Friday to vote on the fundraising package required to save the business.

The company's executives are expected to face tough questions over the state of the company. The Sunday Telegraph​ reports that shareholders will call for "wholesale" changes at the top, with questions over alleged "collusion" between executives.

"What has come out since looks grubbier and grubbier," one investor told the paper.

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