More than 360 people have lost their jobs today and another 72 will be made redundant soon after the country’s biggest tobacco wholesaler was put into administration today.
Palmer & Harvey McLane Ltd, which employs 3,400 people across the country including 350 at its Davigdor Road head office, had been struggling financially for some time.
Today, the High Court appointed PwC administrators. PwC said it has been necessary to make 2,500 immediate redundancies at head office and the branch network, with the remaining staff assisting with the orderly closure of the business. However, staff have been paid for November.
PwC said there were approximately 436 staff in Hove and around 364 were made redundant today. The remaining 72 will assist the administrators.
Matthew Callaghan, joint administrator and PwC partner, said: “The Palmer & Harvey name has been a trusted partner for retailers and suppliers for nearly 100 years.
“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. We will be circulating correspondence to all staff as soon as possible which will outline the support available to complete redundancy payment forms.”