International airline Emirates is scouring the South Manchester market to buy an office of up to 40,000 sq ft freehold as it seeks to grow.
Emirates currently rents 17,000 sq ft in Orbit's Riverside House, Wilmslow but is likely to be lost to the landlord as Orbit prefers to let rather than sell its space.
Paul McLeman, leasing director at Orbit, said: "Because of the significance of who they are they would rather buy than lease and that may well mean we miss out but we are doing our best to retain them."
The Towers Business Park in Didsbury, owned by Dutch investor Wereldhave, is among the early favourites, along with Goodman's Manchester Business Park and Pacific House at Axa/CTP's Atlas Business Park.
Prime new office space could fetch up to £250/sq ft in the South Manchester area. A London agency is advising Emirates.