Wilson Bowden has confirmed this morning that it is in discussions with a number of parties about a potential £1.7bn takeover of the company.

A statement from the Wilson Bowden board said that it ‘can confirm that it is in preliminary discussions with a number of parties regarding a possible offer for the company’.

The housebuilder added that the ‘discussions are at a very early stage and there can be no certainty they will lead to a formal offer being made for the issued share capital of the company’.

Weekend press speculation linked Wilson Bowden with rivals George Wimpey, Redrow, and Bellway.

Wilson Bowden also confirmed that it had 94,592,495 ordinary shares of 10 pence each in issue as at the close of business on 24 November 2006.