THE parent company of cafe firm Patisserie Valerie has announced that it will be forced to stop trading without an 'immediate' cash injection.

Patisserie Holdings said: "The company, in conjunction with its professional advisers, has during the last 24 hours, undertaken further investigation into the financial status of the company.

"The board has now reached the conclusion that there is a material shortfall between the reported financial status and the current financial status of the business."

The market announcement explained that the company's directors and professional advisers are 'assessing all options available to the business to keep it trading'.

Patisserie Holdings said it would update the market in due course.

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Yesterday, Wednesday, the owner of Patisserie Valerie suspended its shares following the discovery of potentially fraudulent accounting irregularities.

Patisserie Holdings said it has been notified of 'significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities and therefore a potential material mis-statement of the company's accounts'.

As a result, this has significantly affected the company's cash position and may lead to a 'material change' in its overall financial position.

Patisserie has therefore asked that its shares be suspended from trading on the London Stock Exchange's junior AIM market while it carries out a full investigation into its true financial position.

In addition, finance chief Chris Marsh has been suspended from his role.

Chairman Luke Johnson said: "We are all deeply concerned about this news and the potential impact on the business. We are determined to understand the full details of what has happened and will communicate these to investors and stakeholders as soon as possible."

Mr Johnson is Patisserie Holdings' largest shareholder with a 37% stake.

In May, the firm reported a 14.2% rise in pre-tax profit for the six months ended March 31, up from £9.7 million to £11.1 million.

Revenue climbed 9.1% to £60.5 million, it said at the time.

Patisserie Valerie trades from more than 200 stores and also has a partnership with Sainsbury's, with branded counters present in the supermarket.

The Warrington branch opened in August in the Old Market Place.