As the deadline looms for Deltic Group to make a firm offer for Revolution Bars Group, the war of words between the two sides has intensified.

Yesterday morning, Revolution issued a lengthy response to Deltic Group’s proposed merger terms, insisting concerns remain and inviting Deltic to make a cash offer instead.

Revolution’s board reiterated its view that shareholders should vote for the Stonegate’s offer at next Tuesday’s meeting.

The board said there was no certainty or guarantee that the Deltic management team would be able to deliver either their forecast financial performance or the estimated cost synergies it had presented in its proposal. It stressed that the reported cost had been developed without direct involvement from Revolution and that Deltic had acknowledged they might vary with engagement.

It also warned that Deltic’s merger proposal would result in much greater indebtedness of the enlarged group and there was no guarantee market participants would ascribe a valuation rating to the enlarged group in excess of the certain cash return from Stonegate.

It said a merger would not be completed until the first half of the next calendar year.

Chairman Keith Edelman said: “The board does not believe that the pursuit of a merger with Deltic is in the best interests of the Company or its shareholders and, in the absence of a firm cash offer from Deltic, maintains its unanimous recommendation that shareholders should vote in favour of Stonegate’s offer at the Revolution shareholder meetings on 17 October.”

Deltic responded yesterday afternoon with a revision of its merger proposal. It would see the £22.3m loan from parent company, Ranimul, converted to additional Revolution shares at a conversion price of no less than 203p per share.

Deltic stressed that it was not possible to implement the revised merger proposal without the full engagement and agreement of the directors of Revolution.

The group said: “Deltic believes the Revolution board has sought to apply its pre-conceptions and prejudices in re-confirming the position it has held since Deltic made its first approach.

“To put this in context, Revolution’s chief executive has not had a single conversation, meeting or any other form of communication with either Deltic or its advisors in respect of the merger proposals.

“Against such a backdrop of hostility, negativity and ill-informed commentary, Deltic does not intend to comment individually on each of the points made by Revolution in the Revolution Response Announcement. Instead, given its very clear value proposition, it would instead invite Revolution shareholders to question why Revolution’s Board has failed to engage meaningfully in any alternative to Stonegate’s offer of 203 pence per share.”