Willmott Dixon, the privately held construction company, has made a 183p a share indicative offer for Inspace, the social housing maintenance group it spun off in 2005. Financial Times

The offer, said to be at a very advanced stage, is at a significant premium to the 110p share price before the deal was announced, close to the record level of 191p in May.

The group said it faced increased competition for maintenance work on the government’s Decent Homes programmes and that uncertainty about house prices was impacting on its affordable housing division and forcing the company to sacrifice margins to maintain volumes.