Billionaire tycoon scotches rumours of another round of bidding
Philip Green has officially thrown in the towel in his battle for Marks & Spencer - for now at least. In a statement to the City this morning, Green said that in light of continued speculation he wished to make it clear that he is not considering a possible offer for the retailer. However, Green - who attempted to buy M&S last year - reserved the right to make an offer for M&S, should a third party announce a firm intention to make a bid.

Analysts have been sceptical that Green would mount a further bid for M&S, following the retailer's profit warning late last year. The toughening of the retail climate over the past year has led pundits to question whether M&S would be an attractive proposition any more. On February 3, Seymour Pierce analyst Richard Ratner said: 'Given the changing retail scene, Philip [Green] needs M&S like he needs a hole in the head.'

The statement comes at the same time as another investor, South African, Mark Paulsmeier has been named as a potential bidder for Marks & Spencer, although he has not as yet made an offer for the retailer.