Palmer & Harvey administrator to work with suppliers after insolvency

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Palmer & Harvey McLane entered administration on Tuesday, with the immediate loss of about 2,500 jobs
Palmer & Harvey McLane entered administration on Tuesday, with the immediate loss of about 2,500 jobs
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has pledged to help suppliers, staff and clients after Britain’s biggest wholesaler to the grocery and convenience stores, Palmer & Harvey, was taken into administration, with the immediate loss of about 2,500 jobs.

PwC joint administrator and partner, Matthew Callaghan, said: “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 troubled wholesaler went into administration on Tuesday (November 28) after the failure of financial restructuring talks, reportedly with private equity firm Carlyle, to save the business.

Failure of financial restructuring talks

The administrators said the business had become a trusted partner for suppliers and retailers for nearly 100 years but operated in an increasingly difficult market.

“The P&H Group has faced a challenging trading environment, and the need for significant restructuring has been recognised for some while,”​ said Callaghan.

“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.”

‘Insufficient cash resources’

Callaghan said PwC’s priority was to ensure all employees whose roles had been made redundant were assisted in processing their claims with immediate effect.

The business, which was the nation’s biggest tobacco supplier, delivered goods to 90,000 grocery and convenience stores. Its range included more than 12,000 products, including food and drinks: both soft and alcoholic.

The group employs 3,400 staff in total. After the immediate 2,500 redundancies at the firm’s head office and the branch network, the remaining employees will assist the joint administrators in managing the activities of the business to an orderly closure. Currently 450 employees have been retained within the wholesale business.

Meanwhile, for the latest jobs in UK food and drink manufacturing, visit FoodManJobs​.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Beverages, Retailing Crisis

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