Langtree has been selected by Shell as the preferred buyer for its 1,600-acre former works in Carrington which are set to become a large housing development.
The Newton-le-Willows based developer controlled by Bill Ainscough beat Peel and St Modwen to the sale.
Langtree is understood to be paying excess of the £20m advertised price for the site, which could accommodate 2,500 homes.
Jones Lang LaSalle is advising Shell.
All parties declined to comment.