Dart Energy International (DEI), which has a large coal bed methane site at Airth in Stirlingshire, is postponing its initial public offering (IPO) until next year after receiving interest about a wider strategic alliance from a business with oil and gas assets in Asia.

DEI, a subsidiary of Australian firm Dart Energy, said in September it hoped to raise £30 million by floating on the Alternative Investment Market this month.

However, as part of the marketing for the IPO, the interest from an unnamed company emerged.

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The boards of DEI and Dart Energy said they feel the opportunity should be evaluated and possibly secured ahead of the IPO.

They believe "a transaction of this nature could achieve a number of long-term strategic, operational and financial benefits for the DEI business, especially in Asia". The potential new partner is expected to be a major investor when the shares do get listed.

DEI said it hopes to give an update before the end of this year and process the IPO at the "earliest appropriate" point in 2013.

The Airth site is DEI's flagship project to recover natural gas from within coal seams with the company's UK headquarters nearby in Stirling.