Palmer & Harvey faces pre-Christmas collapse

Palmer & Harvey is on the brink of falling into administration, leaving thousands of jobs in jeopardy as Christmas approaches.

The wholesaler, which supplies c-stores and Tesco branches across the UK with a wide range of beers, ciders, wines and spirits, has reportedly been struggling with cash flow issues.

Rescue talks with private equity firm Carlyle   appear to have broken down and PwC is said to be waiting in the wings to handle the administration.

P&H supplies around 90,000 retail stores across the UK with tobacco, sweets and other grocery products, along with BWS, via 14 regional depots.

It was set up in 1925 and describes itself as “the fifth largest privately owned company”, adding that employee ownership “underpins our values and culture, playing a key role in the company’s growth”.

A refinancing was concluded earlier this year alongside an 18-month deal to continue supplying Tesco, which accounts for roughly 40% of P&H’s revenues.