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Patisserie Valerie owner valued at £170 million

The owner of Patisserie Valerie has been valued at more than £170 million after a slice of the cake shop business was offered to investors.

Shares in Patisserie Holdings, which also includes the brands Druckers and Philpotts, were priced at 170p on their stock market debut, which is at the low end of previous guidance for between 170p and 200p.

The pricing gave the company a valuation of £170 million before shares - under the ticker CAKE - rose on their first day of dealings to 184p.

Entrepreneur and former Pizza Express chairman Luke Johnson reduced his stake in the company from 70% to 42.7% through the stock market listing.

The company, which has grown to 138 shops from eight at the time of Mr Johnson's takeover in 2006, has raised £33 million from the shares placing to pay down debt. The move will raise £46.5 million for selling shareholders.

The first Patisserie Valerie cafe was opened on Frith Street in London's Soho district in 1926 by Belgian-born Madame Valerie, whose vision was to introduce continental patisserie products to the UK.

For many years, Patisserie Valerie was run as a small group by the Scalzo family consisting of a partnership of three brothers - Enzo, Robert and Victor. They acquired the existing store in Soho, which had since relocated to Old Compton Street, in 1987 and took the group to eight sites.

The group's portfolio now features 89 stores under the Patisserie Valerie brand, as well as 22 under the Druckers name in the Midlands and North West of England and 23 from the recent acquisition of sandwich chain Philpotts.

Its main bakery is in Birmingham while it has a further six bakeries located at existing stores, with capacity to support up to a further 100 openings.

A further 12 stores are expected to open in this financial year, bringing the total for the year to September 30 to 20. New stores are typically profitable from the first month with average weekly sales of £14,000.

Mr Johnson said: "We have grown the business from eight stores to 138 today, and I'm delighted that our new investors have recognised the potential to roll out Patisserie Valerie further."

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