Consultant McBains Cooper has made a formal offer for rival Currie & Brown, Building understands.

One director and shareholder confirmed that the firm had made the offer and had contacted him over the past few months to persuade him to accept it.

He said: “It was a question of McBains Cooper letting us know what was going on and finding out what our reaction would be to a takeover.”

It also asked whether there was any information about the company it had not been made aware of.

The shareholder added that, unlike Australian consultant SKM, which made a failed bid for Currie & Brown in June, McBains Cooper had a chance of completing its takeover.

After fighting off SKM’s bid, Currie & Brown announced it would be restructuring. It then emerged that three directors who left the company were in fact sacked for gross misconduct. The firm accused the three directors of leaking company information to a third party.

A spokesperson for Currie & Brown said: “There have been talks with McBains Cooper but the company is not for sale.”