Matthew Callaghan, Ian Green and Zelf Hussain of PwC were appointed joint administrators of the following on 28 November 2017:
1. Palmer & Harvey (Holdings) PLC;
2. Palmer & Harvey McLane Limited;
3. Palmer & Harvey McLane (Holdings) Limited;
4. P&H (1925) Limited;
5. P&H Direct Van Sales Limited;
6. P&H Sweetdirect Limited;
7. P&H Direct Limited; and
8. P&H Snacksdirect Limited
The appointment was made at the High Court on application by the directors of Palmer & Harvey McLane Limited.
WS Retail Limited has not been placed into administration and continues to trade as normal.
Palmer & Harvey McLane Limited is the UK’s largest delivered wholesaler to the UK convenience market. It has around 90,000 customers ranging from small local corner stores to the UK’s largest supermarkets. It operates a delivery network of 14 regional distribution centres which supplies up to 12,000 product lines. P&H Direct Limited provide product delivery services to independent retailers and food outlets.
The group has been by hit by challenging trading conditions in recent months and efforts to restructure the business have been unsuccessful. This has resulted in cash flow pressures and it has not been possible to secure additional funding to support the business.
The P&H Group employed c.3,400 employees and it has unfortunately been necessary to make c.2,500 immediate redundancies at 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.
With the support of its secured creditors, the business was able to ensure the payment of November payroll.
The administrators are continuing to explore options for a sale of P&H Direct Van Sales Limited, P&H Sweetdirect Limited and P&H Snacksdirect Limited, all subsidiaries of Palmer & Harvey McLane (Holdings) Ltd. In the meantime, the business has ceased to trade but all c.450 employees have currently been retained.
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.”
If you are a customer, creditor, or other person or undertaking and want to connect with the administrators in respect of a Palmer & Harvey company, please call 020 7804 7202.
You can also go to https://www.pwc.co.uk/palmerandharvey and follow the appropriate instructions on the landing page. On this page you will also see an e-mail address (email@example.com) which you can use to contact the administrators.
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