Analysts this week predicted that Japanese company Nippon Sheet Glass would increase its initial offer for UK glass-maker Pilkington from 150p a share to about 162p, valuing the company at about £2.1bn.

Shares in Pilkington rose 2.5% to 153.25p on Tuesday on the back of speculation that senior executives from Nippon had flown into London to negotiate a deal.

Rumours about an improved offer comes two weeks after the initial 150p a share bid, which was rejected by the board as being “materially short” of the full value of the company.

However, some analysts have commented that the improved price may not lead to a takeover because Nippon may not be able to raise sufficient funds.

Nippon, which is a 20% shareholder in Pilkington, is half the size of its British target in terms of market value.

Nippon is understood to be keen to buy Pilkington because of its good relations with Japanese car makers. These firms are thought to have strong long-term growth potential.