Patisserie Holdings shareholders back rescue plan but vent at chairman

Patisserie Holdings' shareholders have voiced their fury at the firm's chairman, Luke Johnson, despite backing his rescue plan for the Patisserie Valerie business.

Johnson said today that the firm had been 'three hours from going into bankruptcy', and that would be reducing his other commitments to focus on rescuing Patisserie Valerie.

The parent company of the troubled chain held an emergency general meeting where over 99% of shareholders backed a plan to issue £15m of new shares.

However, investors in the 206-store chain vented at Johnson, saying they felt cheated that new investors are getting a share of the company at a knock-down price, and accused him of 'holding a gun' to their heads over the rescue deal.

Johnson was forced to lend Patisserie Holdings £20m of his own money to prevent its collapse, after directors said it required an immediate cash injection.

In October, the company had uncovered 'significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities'.