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Patisserie Valerie rescued in private equity-backed MBO

Patisserie Valerie has reportedly been sold to its management team in a move backed by a private equity firm.

British Baker’s sister title The Grocer has this morning stated that the company’s management team, led by CEO Stephen Francis, is taking on the chain following the collapse of owner Patisserie Holdings last month.

The management team has been backed by Causeway, an Irish private equity firm.

It is understood that Patisserie Holdings businesses Philpotts, which operates from 22 sites, and London-based café chain Baker & Spice (four sites) will be sold separately, and that a number of offers have been made for both.

Around 100 Patisserie Valerie sites are still trading.

Administrator KPMG had been looking at a numbers of offers for Patisserie Holdings after it entered administration on 22 January.

More than 70 loss-making sites had been shuttered immediately, including all the remaining Druckers stores. Together with the closure of the company’s Spitalfields bakery, the moves resulted in 920 redundancies.

Patisserie Holdings had narrowly avoided collapse last year after a black hole was discovered in its finances.

In recent weeks, Patisserie Holdings said work carried out by the company’s forensic accountants had revealed “extensive misstatement of its accounts”, including thousands of false entries in its ledgers.

Francis, former CEO of pork producer Tulip, joined Patisserie Holdings as chief executive last November following the resignation of Paul May. He has since built up a management team including former Starbucks boss Rhys Iley as commercial director, and former Tulip MD José Peralta as director of food production and supply.


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