Fraudulent finance fears hit Patisserie Valerie ahead of Barons Quay opening

Luke Johnson executive chairman of Patisserie Holdings said that it was investigating the claims urgently

The future of Patisserie Holdings was hanging by a thread today after the company warned investors that it could not continue "without an immediate injection of capital".

Patisserie Holdings issued the bleak update a day after it revealed that it had learned of "potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities" resulting in the misstatement of its financial position, and suspended trading in its shares.

It relates to a £1.14 million tax bill.

In its statement, the firm said that over the past 24 hours it had "undertaken further investigation into the financial status of the company".

The company said the company's directors and professional advisers are "assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading".

As a effect, its shares with suspended from trading on AIM, the Alternative Investment Market while it "conducts a full investigation with its legal and professional advisors into its true financial position".

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'The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business, ' the company added.

Patisserie Holdings - which had a market value of almost £450m before shares were suspended this week - operates from more than 200 stores.

The company announced earlier this week that finance director Chris Marsh had been suspended.

Commenting on the news, Luke Johnson, chairman of Patisserie Holdings, said that the group was "deeply concerned about this news and the potential impact on the business". "We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened".

Mr Johnson is Patisserie Holdings' largest shareholder with a 37 per cent stake.

Patisserie Valerie posted a nine per cent annual jump in revenue in the six months to the end of March, climbing to £60.5m, while pre-tax profit grew 14 per cent to £11.1m.

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