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Administrators ‘on stand-by’ if Patisserie Valerie boss Luke Johnson can’t find fresh investment

Reports suggest that accountancy giant PwC is gearing up for an administration, which could come as early as today if the company can’t find some money from somewhere
cakes and pastries
2,500 jobs are at risk if Patisserie Valerie goes under

Administrators could be brought in to Patisserie Holdings PLC (LON:CAKE) as early as today if the cake chain’s crestfallen boss Luke Johnson is unable to find an “immediate injection of capital” from somewhere.

An unnamed source quoted in the Financial Times said Big Four accountant PwC was “in there and gearing up for an administration, which could come on Friday”.

READ: Patisserie Valerie left begging for money

The report added that other options were available to the company, including the possibility that Johnson could dip into his personal fortune in a last-ditch bid to save the company.

Analysts reckon that might be the only viable alternative, with other large shareholders unlikely to commit more money given the state of Patisserie’s finances.

It has been a whirlwind 48 hours for the cakes and pastries seller and its shareholders.

On Wednesday it suspended its shares – and its chief financial officer Chris Marsh – while it investigated “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”.

READ: Patisserie shares suspended amid fraud investigation

It then followed that up a few hours later by revealing it had just found about a winding-up petition from HMRC over a £1.1mln tax bill, despite the order being issued last week.

Capping it all off was an announcement on Thursday afternoon, stating that the company’s actual financial position was worse than feared and that an “immediate injection of capital” would be needed to stop the business from going bust.

The barely believable saga has left investors scratching their heads; a seemingly healthy, profitable company on Tuesday could be wound up by Friday.

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