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Buyers found for Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts

Patisserie Holdings businesses Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts have been sold in separate deals.

As previously reported, Patisserie Valerie has been acquired by Dublin-based private equity firm Causeway Capital, which also has investments in Bakers + Baristas, the bakery and coffee chain with 60 sites across the UK and Ireland. The business is taking on 96 Patisserie Valerie stores.

It has been stated by British Baker’s sister title The Grocer that Causeway is backing a management buyout of Patisserie Valerie led by Patisserie Holdings CEO Stephen Francis.

Meanwhile, West Midlands-based wholesaler and distributor AF Blakemore has acquired all 21 Philpotts food-to-go stores across the UK. Many of Philpotts’ sites are in The Midlands.

The 2,000 members of staff across the Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts chains are transferring to the purchasers with immediate effect, stated administrator KPMG, which has been looking at a number of offers for Patisserie Holdings after it entered administration on 22 January.

More than 70 loss-making sites have already been shuttered, 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.

KPMG today said further announcements regarding the remaining part of Patisserie Holdings – four Baker & Spice stores – would be made in due course.

“To have been able to secure the future of the majority of the Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts business, along with such a significant number of jobs, all against a challenging backdrop, is really pleasing,” said KPMG partner and joint administrator David Costley-Wood.

“It was clear from the outset of our appointment that the loyalty shown in the brands from their very many customers was a significant factor in ensuring that these businesses would remain part and parcel of our high streets.”

Blakemore, which last year exited the cash and carry market, said the deal was in line with its strategy to supply consumers with ‘food for now.’

“Bringing Philpotts under AF Blakemore ownership enhances our current retail offer and is aligned with our strategic retail and food service plan,” said chairman Peter Blakemore.

“Our experience and knowledge of the foodservice and convenience sectors brings significant opportunities to develop the brand, while taking elements of the Philpotts offer into our wider business.”

Causeway described Patisserie Valerie as a heritage brand that is much-loved by its loyal customers.

"We are delighted to partner with the team and look forward to helping the business return to growth," it stated on Twitter.


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