HUNDREDS of jobs are thought to be at risk at a major Hampshire employer.

The Daily Echo understands that hundreds of jobs could in danger at Palmer and Harvey (P&H), which has two distribution centres in Segensworth near Fareham.

The Daily Echo has learnt that advisers to P&H, which employs approximately 4,000 people across the UK, are braced for the company to collapse after weeks of takeover talks with the private equity firm Carlyle failed to result in a deal.

P&H entered into talks with Carlyle last month, and were looking to announce a definitive deal with the investment firm as soon as this week.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council said: "It would be a huge concern for the families of Fareham residents who work at Palmer and Harvey.

"I hope that the company can continue to trade until a buyer can be found."

P&H supplies tobacco products to all Tesco outlets across the UK.

More to follow.