Investment bank Close Brothers Group, which has rejected takeover approaches from rival Cenkos Securities and Icelandic firm Landsbanki, reportedly held meetings Friday with private equity group Blackstone that might lead to a rival offer.
The Financial Times on Saturday said Blackstone could work with UK-based broker Collins Stewart on an offer as the latter would be interested in Close's market making business, Winterflood.
Company officials were not immediately available to comment.
People familiar with the situation told Reuters last month that Collins Stewart was considering its options regarding Close and might bid for units rival suitors did not want.
The Financial Times said there were several possible bidders for each of Close's main businesses -- Winterflood, asset management and lending, but few for the whole group.
The report added that Close and Blackstone have not focused on an indicative price although there was market speculation that 1,000-1,040 pence would interest many Close investors.
Shares in Close Brothers rose 1.6 percent to 965 pence on Friday, valuing the company at around 1.4 billion pounds.