August 27, 2017 / 5:42 PM / a year ago

Imperial Brands hires advisers to rescue Palmer & Harvey

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Tobacco giant Imperial Brands has hired advisers from EY to examine options for struggling cigarette wholesaler Palmer & Harvey (P&H). A spokesman for Imperial confirmed that the FTSE 100 maker of the Davidoff and Golden Virginia brands had appointed accounting firm EY to look at ways of securing the viability of P&H.

It came after the Sunday Times reported the appointment of EY and also that cigarette manufacturer Japan Tobacco International had hired Deloitte to work on a plan to rescue the wholesaler. ( Spokesmen for EY and Deloitte declined to comment and JTI did not return an email requesting comment. P&H is one of the UK's largest private companies and Imperial and JTI are reportedly two of its biggest creditors.

The troubled business has been rattled by grocer Tesco ‘s 3.7 billion pound deal to acquire rival wholesaler Booker.

Tesco reportedly accounts for some 40 percent of P&H’s sales and there has been speculation that P&H could lose some of this Tesco business because of the Booker deal, putting its finances under even greater strain. (Reporting by Ben Martin in London, additional reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by David Evans)

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