A partnership set up for the offspring of a Baltimore businessman is close to closing a deal to acquire the former Fairchild Industries plant near here, an official of the group says.

Only a few details stand in the way of completing the deal between Twelve Knotts Limited Partnership and the Maryland Economic Development Corp., the quasi-governmental agency which owns the plant on behalf of the state, James A. Ulmer III, executive director of the partnership, said.

Twelve Knotts Limited Partnership was set up for the 12 children and numerous grandchildren of Henry J. Knott Sr., who started his career in the 1930s as a bricklayer. Knott, 78, is chairman of the Arundel Corp. of Towson, and is involved in the real estate and development business.

As part of the deal, the group would become part owners of the former aircraft manufacturing plant and MEDCO would retain partial ownership, Ulmer said Thursday.

If the deal is completed, New York-based Citicorp would be free to build its credit-card processing center on another site in Washington County. Citicorp had agreed to take the Fairchild property off the state's hands in exchange for full-service banking privileges in Maryland.

The Knotts partnership intends to renovate the 44-year-old plant and subdivide its 1 million square feet into sections that would be leased to light industries, said Ulmer.