Patisserie Valerie cafe escapes closure

Patisserie Valerie has gone into administration but its cafe in Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmunds, has been saved from closing … for the time being.
Its other locations in Ipswich and Colchester will remain open but the branch in Chelmsford is shutting immediately.

Only 70 of its cafes will close immediately. Hopes remain that a buyer can be found for the remaining 121.

The cake chain said discussions with its lenders HSBC and Barclays to extend a standstill agreement on its debts had failed, leaving it with no option but to appoint KPMG as administrator. The move puts 3,000 jobs at risk across the country.

Blair Nimmo, head of restructuring at KPMG and joint administrator, explained: “Our intention is to continue trading across the profitable stores, as collectively the brands have a strong presence on the high street and have proven very popular with consumers.

“At the same time, we will be seeking a buyer for the business and are hopeful of a good level of interest.

“Unfortunately, however, we have had to take the difficult decision to close 70 stores resulting in a significant number of redundancies.

“We will be working with those affected employees, providing all support and assistance they need.”

The cake firm’s parent company Patisserie Holdings has been grappling with the fallout of an accounting fraud since October.

It said that the extent of fraud meant it was unable to renew its bank loans and did not have sufficient funding to continue trading.

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