THE sale of Laing's construction arm is imminent, according to sources close to the group. Insiders believe that it may be concluded next week.
This could mean that the deal is completed by the time the group's annual results are announced at the end of next month.

Two firms, thought to be foreign, are understood to be in the running for the business.

Australian contractor Multiplex, which is set to build the £326m Wembley redevelopment, has been tipped as one contender.

One source said: "I could imagine that Multiplex would look to Laing to beef up its operation in time for the Wembley project. The timing could be just right." Sources close to Laing said there was considerable pressure on the board to close a deal before the results announcement. This comes after Laing called in Ernst & Young to audit contracts in the run-up to the sale. The Ernst & Young team is led by former Schal managing director Malcolm Bairstow.

Industry insiders claim that the issue of contracts is crucial to the success of the sale as buyers are reluctant to take on problems.

  • Laing this week won a contract to build a £90m redevelopment of London's Blackfriars station for Railtrack.