Shares in UK group Sinclair Pharma shot up nearly 40 percent after it confirmed interest from Chinese firms with regard to a possible take-over.

The firm said it had received an approach from China Grand Enterprises and its affiliate company Huadong Medicine Co.

“Discussions remain at a very early stage. Accordingly, there can be no certainty that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made,” Sinclair said in a short statemet.

As per UK law, the groups now have a set period - in this case until August 2 - to submit a formal bid or announce that it does not intend to make an offer, although this deadline can be extended.

"A further announcement will be made in due course," the aesthetic dermatology group said.

The news came as Sinclair reported a 6 percent rise in revenues to £21.3 million for the first half of the year, with a particularly strong performance in its ex-US business, which booked 18 percent growth at constant exchange rates.