Luke Johnson is being forced to wait for the outcome of his bid to take the Signature restaurant group private, as Giuliano Lotto and his associates in Park Place Capital, who own 29.1% of the company, ponder whether to make their own offer.

In a statement on Friday, Lotto and his "concert party" of associates said they were still not going to accept Johnson and his team's 60p a share offer.

However, they would only say that "a further announcement will be made in due course" on whether they would make theitr own offer before the deadline of 20 November.

Johnson's investment vehicle Pinco had secured 46.5% of shareholder approval for the buy-out early last week. Signature owns the Ivy and Le Caprice, as well as the Strada and Belgo chains.