Patisserie Valerie set for new growth

29 September, 2006
Page 6 
Central London chain Patisserie Valerie is set for expansion, after being sold to venture capitalists Risk Capital Partners on 15 September.
Its owners, the Scalzo brothers, sold their controlling stake in the company for £6 million. Twins Victor and Robert Scalzo, 46, will stay on as directors with a 10% stake each, while older bother Enzo is retiring.Robert Scalzo told British Baker that the takeover will allow the company to expand from its current nine shops and open stores outside London. He predicted that the chain might open 10 new shops over the next five years."Our heart is the business, but we got to the point where we could not expand any further without a cash injection," he explained. "We will start expanding on the borders of London, Hampstead and so on, and work outwards."He said negotiations with Risk Capital Partners, a vehicle of Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson, started six months ago. The group also owns the Pizza Express chain. Patisserie Valerie specialises in patisserie, offering a range of "thousands" of products including handmade chocolate in its shops, Scalzo said. "Every one of our shops is different; they are not clone shops," he said. "We offer customers value for money and top quality. We can make a cake from scratch on the same day for a customer if necesssary."The chain was founded in 1926 by Belgian immigrant Madame Valerie and bought by the Scalzos in 1987. It now has shops in locations including Piccadilly, Kensington and Soho.



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