Palmer and Harvey has confirmed it has entered a period of exclusivity with The Carlyle Group, as it seeks to secure the future of the 90-year-old wholesale operation. 

The deal remains subject to ongoing due diligence and contract and follows a period during which Palmer and Harvey has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP - acting as its financial adviser - to explore all of its strategic options. A press release said the terms of the ’potential transaction’ would include the incoming investor taking control of the equity of Palmer and Harvey McLane (Holdings) Limited; and that further announcements would be made as and when appropriate with more details about the development being shared with its customers, suppliers and trading partners in the coming weeks.

It also said the company looked forward to securing the deal "which will provide a strong financial platform from which to build upon its 90 years of experience in the wholesale industry, its strong customer relationships, and its unrivalled scale to take full advantage of the many opportunities across its markets".

Palmer and Harvey is described as the UK’s number one delivered wholesaler, with an annual turnover of more than £4 billion, serving the convenience, forecourt and CTN retail arena. It is one of the largest privately owned companies in the country, with approximately 4,000 employees.