North Sea oil firm Ithaca Energy said today it was still in talks with potential buyers and had set a bid deadline.
It added: “The company is aware of recent press and media speculation concerning the status of these discussions and confirms that it remains in dialogue with bona fide parties.
“A timetable for the submission of final bids has been set.”
Ithaca, which is registered in Canada but has its head office in Aberdeen, did not reveal its deadline but said it planned to give a further update to the market within four weeks.
Yesterday’s statement came after the national oil company of Kuwait reportedly walked away from takeover talks with Ithaca.
A Middle East newspaper cited high-level, unnamed sources at Kuwait Petroleum Corporation saying the door to negotiation was now firmly closed.
Ithaca said in March it received unsolicited interest from several unnamed parties in a deal estimated to be worth £540million.
Speculation about other potential buyers has focused on oil firms such as EnQuest, Taqa and Dana Petroleum.
Ithaca has assets in the inner and outer Moray Firth plus central and southern North Sea.
It stressed yesterday that the current takeover talks may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company.