Some of BAA?s biggest shareholders have indicated that they would not back any bid for the company that offers less than 900 pence a share.
This follows the news last Wednesday that Spanish construction and investment company Ferrovial may be considering a bid for BAA through a consortium and further speculation that other companies may also be considering a bid.
A ?9.5bn ($16.5bn) offer, or 900 pence a share, would effectively represent a 15% premium on the current BAA share price of around 779p, on top of last week's 20% rally in its share price following the announcement from Ferrovial.
Scottish Widows, one of BAA's biggest shareholders with a 3.46% stake is one company that has said it will only back a bid of more than 900p a share and analysts are suggesting that this is also the thinking of other shareholders.
In the meantime there has been no further communication of Ferrovial?s intentions, although it is understood to be trying to pull together investors for a consortium bid for BAA.
If Ferrovial does launch a bid then BAA will vigorously defend itself. It has already won one battle against the Spanish group when it outbid Ferrovial by offering ?1.2bn ($2.09bn) for Budapest Airport recently.
Meanwhile, airline bosses and rival airport chiefs have widely expressed amazement at Ferrovial?s ‘audacity’ considering the mismatch in size between the two companies. Ferrovial?s market capitalisation is around ?6.2bn ($10.8bn) compared with BAA?s ?8.4bn ($14.6bn). But it just goes to show that no company is immune to a takeover bid, as many assumed BAA was.