Palmer & Harvey has entered a period of exclusivity with asset management firm The Carlyle Group to secure a rescue deal for the wholesaler.

The terms of the deal, which is subject to ongoing due diligence and contract, will include The Carlyle Group taking control of the equity of P&H.

In a statement, P&H said it was “grateful to all parties for the time invested in exploring the opportunities presented” and will share more details about the development with its customers, suppliers and trading partners in the coming weeks.

In September it was reported that Palmer and Harvey needed to find more than £50m before October in order to service its debts to tobacco giants JTI and Imperial, and its banking partners. However, a new deal announced by Imperial in a trading update gave the wholesaler a time extension on its repayments.

Last week, P&H outlined concerns that the Tesco-Booker merger could have a “serious impact” on its operations if Tesco decides to replace P&H with an in-house option.