Causeway Capital has dismissed suggestions that it is only planning a brief period of ownership of Patisserie Valerie.

Partner Matt Scaife told the FT that the company had ringfenced follow-on investment in the brand, and had appointed ex Vital Ingredient managing director, Paolo Peretti to run the retail business.

The Dublin-based private equity firm backed by Irish state and EU investment funds, acquired Patisserie Valerie last month in what appeared to be a backing of the Steve Francis-led management team. However, Francis and commercial director, Rhys Iley, were dismissed less than a fortnight after the deal.

Francis went on to accuse Causeway of having short-term ambitions for the brand and little interest in investing.

Scaife told the FT that Causeway would not have invested “if we didn’t think there were sensible risk-adjusted returns to be made” in the medium term.

The group aims for Patisserie Valerie to be “materially profitable” by the end of the year, he added, and “generating sufficient cash to be able to reinvest back into the business”.

He added: “We think we’ve got finance, food production and the food service retail side of the business covered in terms of expertise and with a healthy dose of restructuring experience there, as well as business-building.”

He went on to say that Causeway was the right owner for Patisserie Valerie because it already had experience in cafés through its stake in BB’s Bakers + Baristas, a UK and Irish coffee chain.

“Clearly [Patisserie Valerie] is a more high-profile investment than some of our others so it has probably a little more emphasis on it,” he said but he added that “we can’t afford for any of our investments not to perform”.

The fund believes there is “huge value” in Patisserie Valerie, he said. “We can also see that there’s a huge amount of value in the estate of stores: it would take a huge amount of time to secure those locations and investment scale to open them.

“I think the third bit is the value of the proposition that is a fresh pâtisserie business where all of the cakes are made freshly each day by Patisserie Valerie’s own skilled staff in its own kitchens and bakeries, which is unusual for a business of that size.”

Peretti previously held senior roles with Pret A Manger, Leon, BHS and SSP, joined Vital in June 2015 and oversaw the LDC-backed management buyout of the business in 2016. He stepped down shortly after the majority of the business was acquired out of administration via a pre-pack sale to FCFM at the start of last year.

He is also a co-founder of Morso, the pasta and grappa restaurant bar concept, which launched of a £250,000 equity fundraising campaign on Crowdcube.