Company says talks are not taking place with Balfour Beatty and First Engineering despite rumours

Jarvis has played down bid speculation following reports that Balfour Beatty and First Engineering were lining up an offer.

Speculation grew at the weekend that the pair were in the frame for a £100m bid for the £300m-turnover plant and rail group.

A company statement said: “We wish to clarify that whilst the board continues to consider all its strategic options, one of which may lead to an offer for Jarvis being made, no talks are currently taking place with any parties regarding an offer for the company.”

Kaupthing analyst Kevin Cammack said the ambiguous Jarvis statement was the equivalent of the company telling potential buyers to “come and get me”.