The property company declines to make an offer but does not rule out another bid for the housebuilder in six months time.

Heron International has put its hostile takeover of Crest Nicholson on hold.

The property company run by Gerald Ronson blamed Crest for its failure to make a bid for the housebuilder before a noon deadline today.

It said that it had been unable to obtain a positive reply from the Crest board regarding the securing of information necessary to value a bid.

The Takeover Panel had given Heron until 12am today to make a bid for Crest. Under the City Code on Takeovers and Mergers Heron cannot make another offer for six months unless there is a third party offer for Crest, or a proposal for a reverse takeover.

Heron had indicated that it would have been prepared to pay between 345p and 430p a share for Crest, valuing the company at £480m. The Crest board dismissed the offer saying that it significantly undervalued the company.

Heron said that it would retain its 23.4% shareholding in Crest.