Fontem Ventures has announced plans to close its Edinburgh warehouse and office putting 55 jobs under threat.

The company, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco, uses its Scottish base to distribute e-cigarettes including the blu brand it recently bought.

Following a corporate restructure the operations are being transferred to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Charlotte in the United States.

Consultations with staff affected by the closure have already started.

Fontem Ventures said that it expects a phased shutdown of operations in the Scottish capital running from the end of September through to December.

Bart Maas, general manager of Fontem Ventures, said: “We deeply regret that this strategic restructuring will result in redundancies among our 55 employees in Edinburgh.

“We appreciate the commitment, achievements and contribution of all our employees in Edinburgh and will be conducting full consultations with impacted individuals, offering them assistance to find employment either within the existing business or elsewhere.”

Fontem, set up in 2013 to develop non-tobacco ventures for its parent company, also distributes the Reon caffeine strip products.

It acquired the blu e-cigarette brand in July this year.

It also owns the Jai and Puritane e-cigarette brands.

In November 2013 it acquired various vapour technologies and patents from Dragonite International in a deal worth $75 million.