Takeover speculation at UK Coal has been reignited after it was claimed a potential bidder had refused to give up on plans for the mining group.
Alchemy, the venture capitalist group headed by Jon Moulton, is understood to still be keen on a takeover, even though UK Coal broke off talks this month.
The company, which owns seven deep mines in the UK, did not reveal the identity of its suitor, but it is thought to be Mr Moulton, who held abortive talks five years ago to acquire car company Rover.
A source said: "Moulton is a determined man and he is not out of the picture".
The report said Mr Moulton was expected to approach Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, UK Coal's financial adviser, in order to obtain information that could provide the basis for a bid valuing the firm at up to £250 million.
UK Coal, formerly known as RJB Mining, acquired the former assets of British Coal when the coal industry was privatised.
In the Midlands, it operates the Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire, which employs 540 people. The company's extensive property interests - valued at £174 million in 2002 - are likely to one of the main reasons for the interest in a firm which in March unveiled losses of £51.6 million for its last financial year.