Press reports in the UK suggest that SkyePharma chairman Ian Gowrie-Smith has been given a deadline to put a new management team in place at the firm, or face being ousted by a shareholder revolt.

The Financial Times said there are no concrete bids on the table for the drug delivery specialist, citing comments by non-executive directors at the firm. Last week, after one potential suitor, Innovata, backed away from a deal, SkyePharma said it was still in negotiations with potential acquirers of either the whole firm or some of its parts, prompting suggestions that it may be facing break-up.

According to the FT, SkyePharma set an informal deadline of 5 pm on January 16 for any formal bids, but has since extended it.