Omega has responded to Hardy's 'put up or shut up' call by withdrawing from its takeover bid, leaving Hardy open to fresh takeover offers, market watchers said.

Omega was given until 1 August to decide whether it would make a bid for the Lloyd's broker. It announced on Monday it would not continue with the offer.

A source close to both parties said Omega's reluctance to offer a part cash sum for Hardy had restricted it from moving forward.