MCNICHOLAS Plc has pulled out of a £6 million deal to buy Bath civils and utilities contractor Lawrence.
Brown Macs entered into talks with Lawrence's parent company, the Bristol Water Group, back in January.
But negotiations started to stall and McNicholas has now decided to walk away from the table.
Bristol Water confirmed the deal had fallen through during its annual results announcement last week.
A company statement said: 'We were close to completing a sale but, for reasons unrelated to Lawrence, the prospective purchaser was unable to proceed.
'We have now received a number of further offers for the company, which we are discussing with the potential purchasers.'
McNicholas declined to make a comment.