Sports Direct has shelved its offer to purchase Patisserie Valerie just two days after formally submitting a bid for the chain.
On Friday the sportswear giant issued a statement saying it had “made an offer to acquire the business comprising the trade and assets of Patisserie Holdings plc and its group companies out of administration.”
But less than 48 hours later the Mike Ashley-owned company completed a U-turn after complaining that it was not given access to the information it needed to continue bidding for the group, according to the Financial Times.
It reported that Chris Wootton, deputy chief financial officer for Sports Direct, wrote to David Costley-Wood, the KPMG partner leading the administration process, to say it had made a “serious and substantial offer” in excess of £15m, only to be told that it would need to increase that offer by as much as £2m.
As a result Sports Direct withdrew its interest, arguing that it needed more detailed financial information about the Patisserie Valerie businesses than was being provided, the paper said.
Sports Direct also suggested that other parties must have made offers for the group beyond what it was willing to pay, it added.
The Financial Times said it had seen a copy of the letter in which Mr Wootton stated that “Sports Direct has not been allowed access to a data room, any financial information or meetings with management”.
Patisserie Valerie plunged into administration last month, with 70 of its 200 high stores closed immediately.
Its problems stem from October last year when a £20m black hole was found in its books. An investigation later found a “very significant manipulation of the balance sheet and profit and loss accounts” and after talks with lenders broke down it was forced to call in administrators.