Aberdeen-based energy service business Wood Group said yesterday it was not in takeover talks.
This followed speculation earlier in the day that Wood was a target for US oilfield service giant Halliburton.
It had been claimed that the American group was on the verge of bidding £3.1billion, or 595p a share, for the Granite City business.
Wood shares added 1.7% or 8.2p yesterday to close at 486.6p, valuing the group at just above £2.5billion.
A spokesman for Wood Group told the Press and Journal: “I am happy to confirm we are not in takeover talks.”
Meanwhile, Halliburton said: “We do not comment on rumours or speculation.”
Mark McCue, a divisional director at investment manager and financial-planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, said: “The story seems to have grown out of a presentation delivered by Halliburton last week when they hinted that they were looking to grow their well-support/well-conversion business.
“This has been taken by some to indicate that they are looking to make an acquisition.
“Wood Group would be a possible fit, but they probably would not want to retain other parts of the company; for example, the power business for a starter. (UK energy service firm) Hunting would be a better fit.”
Mr McCue said the Wood family stake in the Aberdeen group was much less of a factor than it once was, having fallen below 20%.
He said there was no reason an offer at the right price would not succeed, but he questioned why a rival would bid now after the Wood stock price had all but trebled from its 2008 low.
Cairn Energy said there was no certainty its planned sale of a controlling stake in Cairn India to miner Vedanta Resources for up to £6billion would proceed, but added it still hoped to close the deal early next year.
Deputy chief executive Mike Watts told a conference in London the Scottish oil and gas company expected the deal would close in the first quarter of 2011, but this was not guaranteed.
Mr Watts also said that if the sale did not go ahead the company was happy to hold on to the stake in Cairn India it had agreed to sell.
Cairn, whose shareholders have overwhelmingly backed the sale, has said previously the Vedanta deal would provide the funding to continue an exploration programme in Greenland and return a substantial part of the proceeds to investors.