Sports Direct has withdrawn its bid to purchase the parent company of Patisserie Valerie out of administration two days after expressing an interest in the troubled chain.
According to the Financial Times, Mike Ashley's firm offered £15m for Patisserie Valerie but was told its offer was £2m short.
Sports Direct is reported to have been shut out of the bidding process and as a result has written to the administrator saying that it lacked the information to take its interest any further.
There are believed to be a number of bids for Patisserie Valerie on the table, including one from Costa Coffee, which was bought from Whitbread by Coca Cola last year.
Prior to the collapse of the bakery chain, Luke Johnson had been preparing a bid for a "sizeable stake" in Venetian restaurant business Polpo, which last month put two of its sites up for sale, according to the Daily Mail.
Patisserie Valerie fell into administration last month after rescue talks with banks failed, resulting in the closure of 71 stores and 920 redundancies.
Patisserie Holdings' collapse followed the discovery of "significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities" in October 2018.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).