The uncertainly surrounding the future of Crest Nicholson was expected to come to an end today.

The housebuilder is the subject of a takeover offer by the Castle Bidco consortium, which comprises UK bank HBOS and entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter.

Its November offer of 585p a share was rejected by Crest Nicholson’s board, which placed a put-up or shut up order on the consortium that is due to expire today.

It is thought that Castle Bidco was considering increasing its offer to 625p. However Crest Nicholson is thought to want 660p per share – a figure that is likely to be too pricey for the consortium.