Friday 26 July 2019 10:42 am

Patisserie Valerie appoints administrators for Grant Thornton probe

Patisserie Valerie’s creditors have appointed new administrators to probe the cafe chain’s auditor Grant Thornton. 

FRP Advisory will take over from KPMG after the financial services firm said it could not investigate Grant Thornton due to a conflict of interest. Grant Thornton audits KPMG’s accounts. 

Read more: Patisserie Valerie overstated financial position by £94m

The investigation, which will be led FRP senior partners Paul Allen and Geoff Rowley, will explore legal claims in an attempt to return money to investors who lost funds when the business collapsed. 

In a statement FRP said: “The liquidators will now work with the administrators KPMG to ensure an orderly hand over before conducting their investigation.”  

The bakery’s parent company Patisserie Holdings collapsed earlier this year after “significant and potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities” were uncovered. 

In March KPMG said “there may be sufficient grounds to establish potential legal claims against a number of parties.

“These parties may include Grant Thornton, who were the auditors to the Patisserie Valerie Group,” it said.

However, KPMG added that it could not probe the situation itself because “Grant Thornton are also auditors to KPMG”.

Read more: Patisserie Valerie rescued with private equity backing

Grant Thornton is currently under investigation by the Financial Reporting Council, which is looking into the audits it did of the bakery chain’s finances from 2006. 

Scandal-hit Patisserie Valerie secured a lifeline from private equity firm Causeway Capital Partners in February, in a move that saved around 2,000 jobs and 96 of the company’s remaining branches.