Luke Johnson, the former executive chairman of Patisserie Valerie, has taken the “unusual” step of joining a committee of creditors to the failed café chain.
He has been appointed, alongside his longstanding public relations consultancy, despite the committee’s role overseeing a review of potential legal claims against Patisserie Valerie’s board, of which he was executive chairman.
The committee was formed last week to appoint a new administrator that will consider lawsuits against the auditor and directors of the chain. Mr Johnson, 57, was the largest shareholder in Patisserie Holdings, the chain’s parent company. Maitland, the PR consultancy that advised the chain’s board, and HM Revenue & Customs also have been appointed.
Patisserie Valerie was engulfed in an accounting scandal in October, when its parent company revealed that it had discovered “significant and potentially fraudulent” irregularities”, leading to an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. The chain collapsed three months later under the weight of a £94 million alleged fraud.
Mr Johnson is owed more than £10 million. The amount owed to the taxman is unknown and the money owed to Maitland is understood to be in the “low thousands of pounds”, according to someone close to the company