Luke Johnson’s chain Patisserie Valerie to float

Kasmira Jefford
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ENTREPRENEUR Luke Johnson is making a return to the public markets for the first time in over 20 years with the £170m flotation of his cafe chain Patisserie Holdings.

The group, which runs five brands including Patisserie Valerie, Philpotts and Baker & Spice, said yesterday it plans to raise £33m of new capital on Aim next month.

Its shareholders will be selling £55m worth of shares.

However Johnson, who owns around 70 per cent of the business said he had learnt from his mistakes of the past and intends to keep a stake of around 50 per cent, to benefit from the group’s next stage of growth.

“I sold down Strada too early. I sold Pizza Express shares too early and I don’t want to make the same mistake again. I will only be selling a small proportion of my shares,” he told City A.M.

Johnson, whose last float was that of Pizza Express in 1993 which subsequently went private, said the move would help Patisserie Holdings pay down £32.7m of debt while also taking advantage of the “strongest new issue market in 10 to 15 years”.

The group saw a 25 per cent jump in earnings to £12m last year. It has 138 stores and said it has the potential to open a further 250 sites around the UK.


1 Canaccord Genuity director Peter Stewart has acted on several IPOs of late including Poundland and invoicing firm Tungsten.

2 Stewart originally trained as a lawyer after graduating from Oxford in modern languages. He spent four years working for magic circle firm A&O before joining Canaccord Genuity in 2008.

3 Easter was spent working on the Patisserie Holdings float but when not at work Stewart’s hobbies are tennis and cricket and spending time with his family.

Also advising...
Canaccord Genuity is acting as financial adviser, nominated adviser and broker to Patisserie Holdings. The broking team was led by Stewart, managing director Bruce Garrow and associate Joe Weaving. The financial advisory team was led by managing director Edward Arkus. Maitland is its PR adviser.

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