The government is preparing to sell its remaining majority stake in defence group Qinetiq and float the business, according to press reports.
Qinetiq's military products are much in demand
Defence secretary John Reid could announce the £1.1bn float as early as this week, said the Sunday Telegraph.
Qinetiq is currently 56% owned by the Ministry of Defence, 31% by US private equity firm Carlyle Group, and 13% by its managers and other staff members.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said a final decision had not been made.
High profile clients
The firm employs more than 9,000 people at locations across the UK.
In the year to March 31 2005, Qinetiq made operating profits of £69.7m from a turnover of £872.4m.
Its clients range from the Pentagon to engine firm Rolls-Royce and credit card company Barclaycard.
Produces include military sensors and software, and banking security systems.
Carlyle Group bought its 31% stake from the Ministry of Defence in 2002.