November 15, 2018 / 2:13 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Patisserie Valerie owner's CEO Paul May steps down

(Adds details, background)

Nov 15 (Reuters) - British cafe chain owner Patisserie Holdings Plc said its Chief Executive Paul May had stepped down immediately, a second resignation after its CFO quit last month following an accounting scandal.

May, who had held the role since 2006, was replaced by turnaround specialist Stephen Francis, the company that owns the Patisserie Valerie chain said.

Most recently, Francis was CEO of British pork producer Tulip Ltd where he led a turnaround, according to Patisserie.

“The board looks forward to working with him in the revival of the business,” Chairman Luke Johnson said.

The company has been under pressure since an accounting black hole was discovered and reports emerged that May and former CFO Chris Marsh had been issued twice the number of shares it had disclosed in official filings.

The accounting issue led to an eventual 20 million pound ($25.6 million) cash injection by Johnson to keep the company running.

The loan gave the company breathing space to raise 15.7 million pounds in a heavily discounted placing in early October.

The company had earlier warned that its core earnings for the current financial year would likely be 12 million pounds, 60 percent lower than consensus. ($1 = 0.7825 pounds) (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft)

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