Construction consultant Systech Group has made a formal bid of 25p a share for its AIM-listed rival James R Knowles.

Systech initially made the bid, which values the Liverpool company at £5.25m, last month after it was approached by Knowles’ adviser, Brewin Dolphin.

The Knowles board, led by chairman Roger Knowles, who owns a 62% stake in the company, rejected it but asked Systech to reconsider the price over Christmas.

A Systech spokesperson said that because no other party had expressed an interest it was going to stick with the original bid.

Systech’s offer is below Knowles’ current share price, which was 38p on Tuesday and 27p at its lowest point for a year on 4 January. In the year to July 2005 Knowles made a pre-tax profit of £41,000, compared with £483,000 the year before because of problems in the USA and Far East.

Roger Knowles, who is looking to retire, was unavailable for comment.