SKANSKA is in talks with a new buyer for its Darlington-based subsidiary, Whessoe.
The company was in negotiations with US engineering giant Shaw Group earlier this year but talks are understood to have broken down.
Insiders said that Skanska was close to making an announcement on the new owner of Whessoe, which specialises in building tanks and terminals for the liquid natural gas sector.
The identity of the new buyer is unknown, although it is understood that Amec has expressed interest in acquiring the company.
One industry insider said: 'We have only been told that the company Skanska is talking to is 'substantial'.
'Amec's name has come up once or twice, and it would be a good fit for them.
'It is likely that Shaw Group pulled out of the deal on financial considerations.They have had a poor set of results lately and shareholders would not be overjoyed at the prospect of an acquisition.'
It is understood that Skanska is offloading the firm as part of its strategy of concentrating on core building and engineering markets.The company inherited Whessoe when it bought Kvaerner in 2000.
A Skanska spokeswoman declined to comment.