Good morning!

I'm not going to waste my time responding to the tripe in yesterday's comments section (I can't anyway, as Ed has closed the thread). Incidentally, I suggested to the boss that Stockopedia restricts the thumbs down facility to paying subscribers only. He agreed, and that's been implemented now. So if readers want to demotivate the writers here with a thumbs down, then you have to pay up for the privilege!

I think more generally that dishing out thumbs downs is a very negative thing to do. It upsets the recipient, and achieves nothing worthwhile. If you don't like something, then just ignore it. Readers who leave comments below, which get thumbs downs, often tend to post a second, aggrieved, response.

Let's make an effort to be a bit more positive with our interactions here, and return to being a happy, mutually supportive, place!

Patisserie Valerie

A post-script to this scandal. An announcement today says that Patisserie Valerie and Philpotts have both been sold, to management (backed by an Irish fund) for a measly £13m, of which £3m is deferred.

It's beyond astonishing that Luke Johnson's flagship company turned out to be a fraud. Whether he was aware of the falsified accounts or not, I still think he has to shoulder a good deal of the responsibility. That is because the company very much rested on Johnson's reputation, and of course its impressive (but fictitious) profitability.

It doesn't seem right that management have been able to buy it for a song, and now have the opportunity to re-build the company, minus its loss-making stores, which will probably make them rich. Other potential buyers (e.g. Mike Ashley) complained that they have no meaningful figures to work on, so would be buying the company blind. Whereas management who have bought it, are probably the only people who are likely to know what the real trading figures look like.

Meanwhile shareholders are left with nothing. The whole thing is absolutely scandalous. I certainly won't ever grace this company with my presence, as a paying customer, in future. Pity, as their English Breakfast tea, and strawberry gateau make a delicious interlude when trudging around the High Street. So once the fuss has died down, I might forget about boycotting Patisserie Valerie!

Which brings me on to;

Directors selling

I met the management of a micro…

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