Members of the Miller family, who together speak for 60% of the shares, have appointed accountants Ernst & Young to carry out a strategic review of their holding. This is expected to trigger a sale that could value the business at about £1.2 billion. Sunday Times, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph

But Keith Miller, the group chief executive, who controls 17%, is not part of the group.

James Miller is representing the family members who are interested in selling their shares in what has become the UK’s sixth-largest housebuilder, with an estimated enterprise value of more than £1bn.

Keith Miller, chief executive, is not part of this group. He owns 17% of the shares, his family a further 8%and the employees more than 11%.

The business could be sold as a whole or broken up into its three constituent divisions: housebuilding, property development and construction.

A source close to the shareholders said most of their wealth was tied up in the company, and they were hoping to take advantage of consolidation in the industry to diversify their holdings.