The sale of one of the largest and most enduring lobster dealer businesses in Maine could occur by next week, according to its owner.

William Atwood said the sale of the William Atwood Lobster Company property and business on Spruce Head Island — to a company he did not want to yet identify — is nearly completed.

The sale will benefit lobstermen, he said, since the new company plans to be more aggressive in getting them to sell their catch to the business. The new company — based in the Chicago area — wants the lobsters for a processing plant it owns on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

He said most of the employees of the Atwood company will be kept by the new owner.

The 73-year-old Atwood noted he has worked in the lobster industry for nearly 60 years, starting in high school working for his father.

“It’s time to move on,” he said.

The sale will be of the company property and business on Spruce Head Island. Atwood will retain ownership of the Tenants Harbor property and business that his father started but will lease it to the new company that is purchasing the Spruce Head Island site.

The Atwood lobster company has the largest shipping facility in Maine with a holding capacity of 200,000 pounds in refrigerated sea water, according to the Atwood Company website. The company sells about four million pounds of lobsters each year. The company purchases lobsters from about 70 local boats and from some fishermen in all the Canadian Maritime Provinces.

The family got into the lobster business in 1920 when Atwood’s grandfather, a lobster fisherman from Nova Scotia, moved his family to Boston, the website noted. Atwood’s father soon started a wholesale lobster business in Boston. That business was destroyed by fire in 1950 and his father decided to move the family and business to Maine to be closer to the supply of lobsters.

Atwood started working for the business part time while in high school and worked in all parts of the dealership including fishing, packing and driving delivery trucks. After graduating from high school and college and completing a tour of duty in the Marines, he started the Atwood Lobster Company on Spruce Head Island near the current location.