Tobacco giant Imperial Brands has said it is in talks to save wholesaler Palmer and Harvey, which supplies Tesco and thousands of retail outlets.
P&H is the UK’s biggest cigarette supplier, and Imperial said it was working “to seek to create a sustainable future” for the company.
As well as cigarettes, P&H supplies 12,000 products, including chilled foods and alcohol.
It serves major chains, convenience stores and petrol station forecourts.
P&H is the UK’s fifth biggest privately owned company. It is owned by its employees, both current and former, and has been in business since 1925.