About 50 companies have expressed an interest in buying all or some of Amec’s built environment business.

The news comes as the support services group sells the first of its non-core businesses as part of a restructuring.

Amec said that about 50 companies have asked to be notified of the sale of its built environment business, which includes PPP investments, construction and property development.

The company has appointed banks NM Rothschild and UBS as its advisers for the sale.

This week Amec sold its 50% stake in Amec Spie Rail Systems to French infrastructure company Colas for an undisclosed amount. The business, whose major client is Network Rail, employs 500 people and generated revenue of £156m in 2005.

The disposals are part of a restructuring announced by Samir Brikho, its new chief executive, in December. The firm is to leave the construction sector to concentrate on energy work.

Some doubts have been raised over Amec’s ability to find a buyer for its construction division, which has been plagued by multimillion-pound writedowns over the past few years.

However, as first reported by Building, contractor Kier is interested in the property division and German contractor Hochtief has been linked to the PPP investments.

Brikho said: “The disposal of our interest to Colas is consistent with my objective of finding strong purchasers with good prospects for all of the Built Environment businesses.”