Retailer pulls bid
Ashley withdraws offer for cake chain Patisserie Valerie
Patisserie Valerie plunged into administration after irregularities were found in the accounts (pic: Terry Murden)
Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has withdrawn its interest in struggling Patisserie Holdings just two days after making an offer for the business.
Sports Direct, the leisurewear retailer, has complained to the cake firm’s administrators, KPMG, a lack of information required to continue bidding for the group, according to the Financial Times.
Chris Wootton, deputy chief financial officer for Sports Direct, is reported to have written to David Costley-Wood, the KPMG partner leading the administration process, to say it had made a “serious and substantial offer” in excess of £15 million. However, it has been told it would need increase the offer by £2m.
In the letter seen by the FT, Wootton said: “SD has not been allowed access to a data room, any financial information or meetings with management”.
“SD has reluctantly decided to withdraw its offer for the businesses, as it is not able to match an offer of £18m plus without having access to any due diligence, financial information or management meetings.”
Patisserie Valerie, which floated four years ago, has been in business for 93 years but was thrown into disarray last October after discovering accounting irregularities that led to the suspension of its top management. Last month KPMG announced that 70 stores would close.
The closure has raised further questions over the quality of audit work which is being examined by parliamentarians.