The troubles besetting Patisserie Valerie seem far from behind new owners Causeway Capital Partners, as last week saw five unnamed people arrested and questioned by officers from the Serious Fraud Office over alleged accounting fraud.
In a joint operation with police the arrests took place last Tuesday. The arrests follow on from Patisserie Valerie ‘s former FD, Chris Marsh being arrested and freed on bail eight months ago.
The names of those arrested or what they had been detained for was not disclosed by the SFO, saying only that it was conducting inquiries into the role of individuals in the firm’s slide into administration.
A spokesperson for the SFO in a statement following the arrests said: “On Tuesday 18 June, as part of a joint operation with Hertfordshire, Leicestershire and the Metropolitan police services, five individuals were arrested and interviewed in connection with the Serious Fraud Office investigation into individuals associated with Patisserie Holdings PLC.”
Causeway Capital Partners acquired Patisserie Valerie after it went into administration in January for £5m.
The administration process has exposed a £94m hole in the accounts of Patisserie Valerie, including failing to show overdrafts of £10m and exaggerating its cash position by £30m.
Patisserie Valerie prior to administration operated 206 outlets employing 3,000 people. Acquirers, Irish private equity firm, Causeway Capital Partners currently operate 96 Patisserie Valerie outlets.
Causeway Capital Partners was launched in 2015 from headquarters in Dublin, Ireland. Another of their investments in hospitality is Bakers + Baristas. A fresh bakery and coffee operator with over 65 locations primarily in shopping malls and retail outlet parks in the UK and Ireland.