Terra Firma, the European private equity firm, has extended the deadline required for EMI Group Plc to accept its £2.4 billion ($4.7 billion) acquisition bid to July 4.

Terra Firma had originally given EMI, the U.K.-based multinational music company, up until yesterday (June 27) to accept a recommended cash offer "for the whole of the issued and to be issued share capital."

By 1pm London time yesterday, Terra Firma had gained acceptances that represented 3.53% of EMI's existing shares. This exceeded the minimum 2% that a Terra Firma spokesman said would encourage the company to pursue its bid. Such a figure is not unusual, with institutional shareholders likely to withhold support until as late as possible in the hope of a counter bid.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Terra Firma said: "EMI shareholders who have not yet accepted the offer are urged to do so as soon as possible and in any event by July 4."

The spokesperson added that Terra Firma has up to 28 days in total from June 27 to clinch the 90% acceptance needed from EMI.

Moreover, by the end of yesterday, the counter bid widely expected from Warner Music Group (WMG) had still not taken place. On June 11, WMG had hinted it would renew its ongoing bid for its major label rival. Terra Firma's deadline extension gives WMG or rival private equity firms more time to come up with a counter offer.

A Warner spokesman in London declined to comment on the latest developments.