Tobacco giants to secure P&H future ahead of takeover

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Imperial Brands and JTI have agreed to financially support Palmer and Harvey ahead of a takeover by Carlyle, a buyout firm, C-Store understands.

Imperial confirmed this morning it is in rescue talks with other parties to secure the long-term future of the wholesaler.

In a statement, Imperial Brands said: “Further to overnight media speculation, we confirm that we have been working, together with other stakeholders, to seek to create a sustainable future for the UK wholesaler, Palmer & Harvey, with whom we have a close trading relationship.”

JTI UK managing director Daniel Sciamma added: “Palmer & Harvey is a major wholesaler of our products in the U.K. and JTI is pleased to confirm that we have, along with other key stakeholders, been able to assist Palmer & Harvey in consolidating its trading platform.”

It is understood that a rescue deal led by Carlyle is likely to involve James Lancaster, who was a co-founder of McColl’s Retail Group in 1973. He became chief executive in 1990 and then chairman and chief executive in 1995. 

This week former P&H commercial director Darren Goldney was appointed managing director of Today’s Group. Commercial director Steve Watson has also left the company, P&H confirmed.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Sad to hear another long standing staffer has left in Steve Watson.Thanks to a board who were all consumed with CSG supply agreement which because of lack of planning they were ill prepared to deliver the company has gone to the dogs.The wilful neglect of their loyal indie customers was shameful and getting rid of a sales force on the ground was a huge mistake.Greed in this instance was DEFINITELY not good.I wish all the staff i have known over the years well in their future

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  • RS McColl and his brother founded the business now known as McColl's in 1901. If James Lancaster was a co-founder he must be at least 130 years old.

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