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Palmer and Harvey enters administration

Published: Tuesday 28th November 2017 at 18:45

Palmer and Harvey enters administration

The wholesaler Palmer & Harvey (P&H) has entered administration after the failure of rescue talks, leaving 2,500 people out of work just weeks before Christmas.

Sky News reported earlier today how the company, Britain's biggest tobacco supplier, was on the verge of collapse amid a funding crisis and fading hopes of a buyout by private equity firm Carlyle.

Joint administrators at the business services firm PwC said the firm employed approximately 3,400 people but they had needed to make around 2,500 immediate redundancies at its head office and in the branch network of 14 regional distribution centres, including Brandon.

They confirmed just 450 members of staff were being kept on at this time to assist in managing the activities of the business to an orderly closure, adding that November's payroll had been secured.

The demise of P&H also risks disruption in supplies to UK stores and restaurants.

It was the country's largest delivered wholesaler to the convenience market with 90,000 customers in total, including the large supermarket chains.

PwC explained: "The group has been by hit by challenging trading conditions in recent months and efforts to restructure the business have been unsuccessful.

"This has resulted in cash flow pressures and it has not been possible to secure additional funding to support the business."

Joint administrator Matthew Callaghan added: "This is a devastating blow for everyone who has been involved in the business.

"The administration team will focus on working with employees, clients and suppliers to facilitate a smooth and effective wind-down or transfer of operations over the next few weeks.

"The P&H Group has faced a challenging trading environment, and the need for significant restructuring has been recognised for some while.

"The company has insufficient cash resources to continue to trade beyond the short term and the directors have concluded that there is no longer any reasonable prospect of a sale.

"Therefore, the directors have had no choice but appoint administrators.

"The administrators are working closely with employees affected by the closure of the business to ensure they receive the support they need during this difficult time to assist with their claims for redundancy and other compensatory

payments.

"Our priority is to ensure that all employees made redundant are assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect."

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