The ongoing takeover saga of Alea by FIN Acquisition has taken another twist with the postponement of the shareholder meeting this week.

The special general meeting, held to determine whether FIN’s offer for Alea was to be implemented as either amalgamation or acquisition, was postponed for 10 days as a result of “questionable trading from a shareholder”, a spokesman revealed.

This development has fuelled speculation that a rival firm is preparing to launch a bid. Last week the Alea board revealed that the company had received a “very preliminary unsolicited approach” that could precipitate an offer higher than the $162m made by FIN in April.

According to the terms of the agreement, 75% of shareholder approval was needed for amalgamation.

Despite securing the backing of 55%, plus an additional 6% from a FIN affiliate last week, company registrars told Alea shortly before the meeting that only 72% of proxy votes favoured the move.

In a statement the company said: “It would be in the best interests of the company for the shareholders to be given additional time to consider these developments.”

Should the shareholders elect not to approve the amalgamation, it could leave the door open for another bidder.

FIN has since raised its offer price from 93p to 96.5p per share. However, Alea’s share price has improved to 101p – an increase of over 25% since 1 March.