Drinks distributor and wholesaler Waverley TBS is poised to announce the closure of 10 depots affecting up to 400 jobs, The Grocer has learnt.

Waverley, which currently operates 21 depots, is expected to create a "superdepot" as part of an overhaul of its supply chain.

The distributor, which is owned by Heineken, has been badly hit by the decline in pub trade, the smoking ban and the falling value of the pound against the euro.

"This news has been coming for a while," said a senior beer industry source. "The rumours are that it has too many customers and has been promising too much.

"It has been delisting a lot of dead wood particularly in spirits. It has been going through a massive restructuring process. However, its cask business is flying."

The distributor, which has already reduced staff levels, made a pre-tax loss of £21m in the year ending December 2008 ­according to the most recent accounts filed at Companies House. It attributed the loss to an exceptional charge of £14.9m following a "review and ­restructuring of the business". Turnover fell 9% to £526.2m in the same period.

Last month the company promoted commercial director Jonathan Townsend to managing director. Previous MD Gordon Johncox left the company in September after less than a year in the role.

Waverley refused to comment.