KPMG secures future of Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts with two deals
KPMG, administrators of Patisserie Holdings plc and its subsidiaries, has today announced that the businesses of Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts have been sold in two separate transactions, which collectively preserve all 117 stores and safeguard approximately 2000 jobs.
A total of 96 Patisserie Valerie stores have been acquired by Dublin-based Causeway Capital Partners.
Separately, A.F. Blakemore & Son, the food retail, wholesale and distribution company, has acquired all 21 Philpotts stores across the UK.
Collectively the chains fetched £13m - a fraction of what the group was once worth.
All members of staff across the Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts chains will transfer to the respective purchaser with immediate effect.
David Costley-Wood, partner at KPMG and joint administrator, said: “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. 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.
“We are particularly grateful for the support of stakeholders, including the suppliers and employees, whose support throughout this process has been integral to securing such a positive outcome.”
Matt Scaife, a partner at Dublin-based Causeway Capital, said Patisserie Valerie was a “much loved” heritage brand that his firm looked forward to helping return to growth.
The Joint Administrators confirmed that further announcements regarding the Baker and Spice business will be made in due course, but Patisserie Holdings said there had been “strong interest” from potential buyers.
Patisserie Valerie was plunged into crisis in October when accounting irregularities were uncovered. It hired KPMG to try to salvage the brand which dates back nearly 100 years.
KPMG closed 70 outlets, with the loss of 920 jobs. Restructuring talks broke down in January, leaving no option but administration.
The Serious Fraud Office is carrying out a criminal investigation into Patisserie Valerie and finance director Chris Marsh was arrested and released on bail after having been suspended by the company.
Also under investigation, by the Financial Reporting Council, are former Patisserie Valerie auditors Grant Thornton.
The first Patisserie Valerie opened in Soho in 1926, established by Belgian Esther van Gyseghem and her husband. The chain expanded rapidly across the UK after entrepreneur Luke Johnson invested in the brand in 2006.