Scandal-hit Patisserie Valerie owner calls in administrators

A man walks past a branch of Patisserie Valerie in London, Britain, October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

(Reuters) - British cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings Plc CAKEP.L on Tuesday appointed audit firm KPMG as administrators after it was unable to renew its bank facilities in the aftermath of an accounting scandal.

The troubled company said it did not have sufficient funding and that its Chairman Luke Johnson extended an unsecured, interest-free loan to ensure that the staff was paid wages for January.

Patisserie, which floated four years ago, plunged into turmoil last October after discovering accounting irregularities that led to the suspension of its top management.

Patisserie Holdings, whose cafes are best known for their range of cakes, had said earlier this month that thousands of false entries were made in its ledgers and that misstatement of its accounts was “extensive”.

It had hired KPMG to assess options in a last ditch attempt to save the 93-year old company.

Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar and Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Bernard Orr