Investor R Capital is understood to be close to signing a deal to buy the ailing family-owned steelwork contractor.
The firm has been up for sale for more than a year and many in the industry feared it would be closed if a buyer could not be found.
R Capital is best know for its recent turnaround of the Little Chef restaurant chain.
In construction, it bought flat roofing contractor Rock Asphalte, turning it into a broader based roofing solutions business before selling it to the management.
S Robinson & Sons was set up in 1964, specialising in agricultural and construction steelwork. At the peak, the steelwork contractor turned over £48m but like others has suffered from the severity of the downturn.
One rival firm told the Enquirer: “They are a good firm with a strong track record in the £3-£5m order side of the industry. They even recently invested in new production facilities.
“I expect there will be further redundancies in Derby, but its better than seeing a good business disappear.”