Patisserie Holdings faces ‘£20m black hole’ found in accounts

The owner of Patisserie Valerie faces a battle for survival after discovering an estimated £20m-plus black hole in its accounts and being hit with a winding-up petition by Revenue & Customs over unpaid tax.

Patisserie Holdings, where Luke Johnson is chairman and a 37% shareholder, is understood to have alerted the Serious Fraud Office after discovering “significant, potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities”.

Hours after revealing the possible fraud, the company was forced to issue a further update announcing that the board had “become aware” that a winding-up petition had been filed against Stonebeach Limited, its principal trading subsidiary, by HMRC over an unpaid tax bill of £1.14m.

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