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He said: I believe this is a done deal. They have agreed to sell, we to purchase.

The only thing that could overturn Persimmons bid would be a shareholders revolt at Persimmon or Trafalgar.

The takeover of Ideal will mean the closure of six offices but the firm would not comment on the number of job losses. A 2 million provision has been made to cover reorganisation costs.

The Persimmon move capped a week of corporate activity in the house building sector.

Bellway took a 4.8 per cent stake in the troubled North West house builder Wainhomes.

And Edinburgh-based contractor Miller Group is seeking a buyer for its 20 million turnover house building arm in southern England, Miller Homes Southern.

See page 11