THE BATTLE to buy Scottish rail maintenance specialist First Engineering will not be settled until early next year.
Three firms - Morrison, Amey and Serco - are understood to have made approaches to buy the Glasgow-based firm, with an £85 million bid by fellow Scottish contractor Morrison the favourite to succeed.
But a senior source at First Engineering said: 'Nothing is going to happen this side of Christmas.'
First Engineering's stock rose last month when Railtrack announced that it was preferred bidder to maintain track in the Manchester area. The deal is worth up to £118 million over five years.