JTI and Imperial have confirmed they are in talks with Palmer & Harvey (P&H) following reports that the tobacco giants are considering buying a stake in the wholesaler.

Sky News has reported that talks between the three parties have taken on “increasing urgency” in recent weeks.

A spokesman for Imperial told C-Store: “We are aware of P&H’s ongoing refinancing discussions and are talking with them about a range of potential options to support their business. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

JTI head of communications Jeremy Blackburn said: “Palmer & Harvey is one of the key wholesalers of our products in the UK and we are currently in discussions with its management team to develop future business plans.”

A spokesman for P&H said: “As part of the planned refinancing process, we are in constructive discussions with our lenders and stakeholders.

“The company believes it is well placed to take advantage of the many opportunities that the market currently presents.”