HBOS confirmed today that it was considering the possibility of a bid for Quintain Estates.

Speculation grew last week after Paul Kemsley’s Rock Capital sold an 11.9% stake in Quintain to HBOS subsidiary Uberior Ventures on Thursday evening.

In a statement to the Stock Exchange, Uberior subsidiary Quill Estates said: ‘Quill Securities confirms it is evaluating its options in relation to [Quintain]. Such evaluation is at an early stage and whilst its options include making a proposal to the board concerning an offer for [Quintain], there can be no certainty that any such proposal will be made.’

Quintain shares closed 4.7% higher on Friday after the news of Uberior’s acquisition, but were down 1.4% this morning to 883p. Uberior was part of the consortium led by Icelandic retail investor Baugur, that also included Nick Leslau’s Prestbury, which bought House of Fraser for £351m in September last year.

It also formed the Alternative Hotel Group, a joint venture with Richard Balfour Lynn’s MWB to take the De Vere hotel group private in a £770m deal.