Patisserie Valerie is to franchise its offering to overseas markets following a deal that has established a franchise agent in the Middle East.

The first Middle Eastern store will appear next year, followed by “an aggressive roll-out of 15 stores in three years,” said Paul May, MD of Patisserie Holdings, part of private equity group Risk Capital Partners, which bought a majority stake in Patisserie Valerie in 2006.

“Our (undisclosed) partner in the Middle East is a very big operator with 4,500 employees, so, slowly but surely we’re going to start building that side of the business,” said May.

“It’s a business that has a great brand and we want to grow and protect that brand.”

Talks are now under way to pursue similar ventures in India, Pakistan, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong, while there are long-term plans to take the brand to the US.

In March, May revealed to British Baker that Patisserie Holdings, which also owns 40-shop Midlands-based patisserie chain Druckers, was targeting a total of 125 Patisserie Valerie stores in the UK, growing it from the current 12 stores, within three to five years.

This would be via a mix of new store openings and conversion of some of its Druckers-branded outlets, which it acquired last year. None of the UK outlets will be franchised.