The fallout from the alleged accounting scandal at U.K. café chain Patisserie Valerie continues, with the firm’s delayed payments to suppliers causing a stir.
Reports in The Times on Tuesday (Dec. 18) said that landlords of various Patisserie Valerie locations have revealed significant delays in rent payments, with one telling reporters that it had to send bailiffs every quarter to collect money from the company.
MPs from the Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee have reportedly written to Patisserie Valerie’s new CEO Steve Francis to request information on the company’s supplier payment practices.
Separate reports from The Daily Mail said other vendors for the company have also begun speaking out against Patisserie Valerie’s alleged late payments, including one unnamed supplier said to have visited the company’s offices with a baseball bat demanding payment.
Other claims include a photography company that said it waited two years for Patisserie Valerie to pay its invoices, as well as wholesalers Brakes and Booker, which have reportedly stopped supplying to the company as a result of its failure to pay.
“The new management team is working through these issues as a priority,” a spokesperson for the café chain told the publication.
The late payment claims follow revelations earlier this year after Patisserie Holdings, owner of the chain, revealed “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities.” The company’s former chief financial officer was arrested and released on bail after the company made the accounting irregularities public.
The U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office also confirmed it has begun probing the matter.
Since hiring a new CEO, Patisserie Valerie also announced a new group commercial director on Tuesday. The company hired Rhys Iley, former Starbucks EMEA retail and operations vice president. He spoke with reporters at The Grocer earlier this month, saying the company was “crying out” for a commercial director to take on day-to-day operations.