Manchester firm Pannone has refused to comment on fresh speculation that dozens of jobs could be lost as a result of its takeover by quoted Australian firm Slater & Gordon, as predicted by the Gazette earlier this month.

Slater & Gordon’s £33m acquisition of ‘substantial parts’ of Pannone is expected to be complete by late February 2014.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange, Slater & Gordon said 400 Pannone staff will transfer under the deal.

However, this could leave well over 100 staff surplus to requirements, as the Gazette understands the firm employed 587 people at start of July. It is understood that a redundancy consultation is under way which concludes on 31 January.

According to the Slater & Gordon announcement, Pannone’s current Manchester office will be ‘maintained initially’, with ‘brand integration’ to occur over time.

A spokeswoman for Pannone said: ‘All discussions with our staff are confidential and it would be inappropriate to comment further.’

Slater & Gordon said it is unable to comment as the acquisition is not yet complete.

In October the Gazette reported that the number of redundancy claims as a result of collapsed Midlands firm Challinors could be as high as 150, more than triple the original estimate.