Patisserie Valerie Owner Names New CEO of a Company on the Brink

(Bloomberg) -- Patisserie Valerie’s parent company named Stephen Francis as chief executive officer, a month after disclosing accounting irregularities that nearly resulted in a collapse.

  • Francis was previously CEO of pork company Tulip Ltd., a subsidiary of Danish Crown A/S. He succeeds Paul May, who resigned, at the helm of Patisserie Holdings Plc.

Key Insights

  • May came under scrutiny for his leadership during a period when the company reported 28.8 million pounds ($36.9 million) in cash, but actually had a deficit of at least 9.8 million pounds.
  • It’s not clear how big a problem Francis faces. The company secured shareholder approval for a rescue plan but has not yet disclosed the results of a forensic audit of its books.
  • Along with Chairman Luke Johnson and former finance director Chris Marsh, May was part of a management team that took the company public in 2014. Marsh was arrested and released on bail after the accounting irregularities became public. He subsequently resigned.

Market Reaction

Share of Patisserie Holdings have been suspended since Oct. 10. Trading will not resume until the company can provide a clearer picture about the state of its books.

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