Patisserie Holdings has announced that the winding up petition against Stonebeach Limited, its principal trading subsidiary, was dismissed by the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts on 23 October 2018.
On 10 October that the board of Patisserie Holdings revealed a winding up petition relating to a £1.1m unpaid tax bill. The company said it had become aware of the petition against Stonebeach that day, despite it being filed at The High Court of Justice on 14 September
According to The Times, Patisserie Holdings has drafted in investigators from US professional services firm Alverez & Marsal to review its tax liabiliies and amid questions about how a £1.14m bill went undiscovered by the board. They are said to be working alongside accounts at PwC to trawl the company’s books.
Patisserie Holdings has also responded to press commentary about the company’s three-year long-term incentive plan for executives (LTIP), and has confirmed the current status of awards under the LTIP for the years between 2014 and 2016.
An article in the Financial Times earlier this week, suggested that chief executive Paul May and suspended finance director Chris Marsh had tucked into second helping of shares in recent months, but with no explanation from the chain.
The FT article stated that: Under parent company Patisserie Holdings’ 2014 long-term incentive plan (LTIP), Messrs May and Marsh had been entitled to exercise options on the company’s shares if its earnings growth outstripped the retail price index by 18 per cent or more over three years.
Patisserie Holding’s reported earnings appeared to do this, enabling the directors to buy shares and immediately sell them for a profit. However, a more sharp-eyed than sweet-toothed Financial Times reader noticed that each seemed to sell their full entitlement of LTIP shares twice.
In the announcement on the London Stock Exchange, the company said the as part of the ongoing investigation, is seeking to understand why the grant of options relating to 2015 and 2016 have not been appropriately disclosed and accounted for in its financial statements.