Property and transport group Peel Holdings has denied speculation that it is planning a takeover bid for UK Coal.

Peel made a statement to the Stock Exchange after UK coal confirmed that Owen Michaelson, a senior executive at Peel, had taken a non-executive position on its board.

‘The board of Peel confirms that its shareholding is held for investment purposes only and that it has no intention to make an offer for UK Coal,’ it said.

Peel said that it would not make an offer whilst Michaelson was on the board, or for six months after he stepped down, unless another party made an offer for UK Coal, or the company invited offers.

Peel, founded by secretive north-west entrepreneur John Whittaker, the company’s chief executive, was forced to deny takeover rumours for UK Coal, which has a property portfolio valued at £398m, in March of this year.