Palmer & Harvey (P&H) has fallen into administration, with 2,500 jobs set to be lost with immediate effect.
The news was confirmed by administrator PWC, and comes after a series of takeover talks between P&H and private equity firm Carlyle.
P&H supplies about 90,000 outlets around the UK including major chains, convenience stores, corner shops and petrol station forecourts.
A spokesperson for tobacco supplier JTI, which had agreed to provide funding for P&H earlier this year amid the wholesaler’s struggles, told Better Wholesaling: “Throughout the whole process, JTI has worked continuously to facilitate a constructive solution to the P&H group’s challenges, including extending significant financial and operational support to allow P&H to continue its operations. Regrettably our considerable efforts were not successful. We have a contingency plan in place and we do not expect any significant interruption in the supply of our products”.
The collapse of P&H comes hot on the heels of the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) giving the provisional green light to the Booker/Tesco merger, and a tie-up between Nisa and The Co-operative.
P&H was not immediately available for comment.