It has emerged that the Takeover Panel Executive may extend the date by which Akzo Nobel must announce a firm offer for ICI.
The Dutch paint company could receive an extension to continue working with ICI to thrash out a deal.
Such an extension is possible by Takeover Panel rules, as a company can request for more time if it is still in talks.
Akzo is currently carrying out due diligence on ICI's books after its board accepted an indicative offer of 670p a share (£8bn).
Although Akzo's shareholders may yet the scupper the deal as they appear split on whether the company is paying too much for a rival.