Bill Dawson and Dan Butters, partners at Deloitte, have been appointed joint administrators to Warrington-based Daniel Contractors and subsidiary Land & Marine Project Engineering.
Daniel Contractors' main contracts are for utility works. Deloitte said: "The administrators intend to continue to trade two of the three main contracts within Daniel Contractors with a view to agreeing a transfer of the business and employees.
"We understand that the counterparty of the third contract has made arrangements to transfer the related business and employees to a third party.
"A transfer of these contracts would safeguard 990 jobs and also ensures that these contracts are able to continue to operate with minimal interruption."
The group had a turnover of £117.5m in 2011, producing a pre-tax profit of £1.4m. Daniel had net assets of £10.4m.
Deloitte received several expressions of interest for Land & Marine Project Engineering and is currently considering the options.
Bill Dawson, joint administrator and partner in Deloitte's restructuring services team, said: "We are in discussions with the key stakeholders and interested parties of the group in an attempt to sell all or parts of the businesses and we will be briefing the employees about the situation."
Six hundred out of the group's 1,449 employees are in the North West.
The company was founded in 1994 by brothers George and Conal Daniel.