Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has withdrawn from the bidding for Patisserie Valerie, just two days after revealing he had made an offer for the troubled café chain.
Ashley is thought to have offered about £15m for Patisserie Valerie, which is in administration, but was told the offer was too low.
The Financial Times reported that Sports Direct claimed it had “not been allowed access to a data room, any financial information or meetings with management” in order to make a better offer.
That meant it was “at a serious disadvantage” because information in the public domain was “at best unreliable”.
However, his interest in Patisserie Valerie surprised some observers. It is unclear whether he was interested in the business in its own right, or whether he saw an opportunity to launch it in House of Fraser stores.
Patisserie Valerie collapsed into administration last month, after the discovery of a £40m black hole in its finances.
Since then administrator KPMG has shut 71 of Patisserie Valerie’s 200 stores and concessions while seeking a buyer.
The business was valued at £450m before its collapse after it emerged that its balance sheet and been manipulated and accounts misstated.