Peel Holdings, the property and transport group owned by John Whittaker, today reiterated that it had no intention of making an offer UK Coal.

Peel has been unable to shake off rumours that it is preparing a bid for the property-rich company – the company in which it owns a 7% stake.

In statement released today, Peel said: ‘The board of Peel notes the recent and continued press speculation with regard to its shareholding in UK Coal and confirms that its shareholding is held for investment purposes and that it has no intention to make an offer for UK Coal.’

Peel has reserved the right to make an offer for UK Coal if the company later invites bids or if a third party announced plans to make an offer or a possible offer for UK Coal.

UK Coal owns more than 40,000 acres (16,200 ha) of land in the east Midlands and Yorkshire.