Utilities Group AWG this week put its housebuilding arm Morrison Homes up for sale two years after it acquired it as part of Morrison Construction.
AWG Developments managing director Tony Donnelly said it was the right time to sell Morrison's housing arm. He said: "We want to exit at the top of the market." Initial estimates put the price tag at £50m.

Donnelly added that an auction would begin later this month, with a firm shortlist of buyers drawn up by September, but ruled out the prospect of a management buyout.

He said it would depend upon the buyer as to whether Morrison's joint-venture deals with other developers would be included in the sales package.

The firm has appointed City investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein to help sell the business, which turns over £100m a year.

The move follows last month's revelation that AWG's acquisition of Morrison Construction had led to unanticipated costs of £106.4m in the past year.