Linden Homes has appointed NM Rothschild to solicit offers for the business after it conducted a strategic review of its options. Rothschild is now sounding out possible bidders.

Philip Davies, Linden’s chief executive, said he “was not considering other options” even though at the time of the review he denied that the automatic outcome would be a sale.

However, many in the City believed this was the most likely outcome, as private equity backer HBOS, which owns a 35% stake, was thought to be looking for an exit.

Davies said he expected the sale process to take three months.

In June Linden reported a 178% increase in pre-tax profit to £12.8m after the sale of its north-west division. Group turnover was £280m, an increase of 33% on the previous year.