West Coast Capital, the private equity vehicle founded by Sir Tom Hunter, was this week among the favourites to take over private housebuilder Keepmoat.

The sale of the firm, which constructs and carries out maintenance on social housing, is expected to go ahead in the near future.

A takeover is likely to value it at more than £700m.

It is understood that West Coast is bidding for the company in partnership with HBOS, with which it teamed up to buy Crest Nicholson and McCarthy & Stone.

Other private equity bidders are believed to be in the running for Keepmoat, including 3i, Warburg Pincus and Cinven. Final bids for the company were due in last week.

Keepmoat, which has a turnover of £450m and orders worth £3bn, is the latest company in the housing market to become a target for private equity firms. Social housing contractor Apollo has also attracted interest.

The deal comes against a background of increasing consolidation in the housebuilding sector, including the £5bn merger of Taylor Woodrow and George Wimpey.