European private-equity firm Terra Firma has extended the deadline to July 12 on its £2.4 billion ($4.84 billion) acquisition bid for EMI Group Plc.

Terra Firma issued a statement Wednesday declaring that the offer "is being extended and will remain open for acceptance until the next closing date, which will be 1pm (London time) on 12 July 2007."

July 4 marked the end of the first extended deadline, when EMI shareholders were urged to accept the bid. Terra Firma's original cash bid was announced on May 21.

By yesterday, however, Terra Firma had received about 3.56% of EMI's issued shares. This is only slightly higher than the 3.53% garnered by June 28, when the first deadline extension was declared.

A Terra Firma spokesperson had said the equity firm was willing to keep lengthening the deadline for full acceptance until July 26.

Terra Firma is willing to pay 265 pence ($5.34) a share for EMI and needs 90% of the publicly quoted music group's shares to nab the deal.

But, according to industry observers, EMI shareholders are still holding out a possible higher counterbid from rival major label Warner Music Group.

EMI shares improved slightly to 268.50 pence ($5.42) after the London Stock Exchange opened this morning.