French food group Danone on Thursday extended by two weeks the deadline on its takeover offer for New Zealand drinks firm Frucor Beverages Group Ltd , but held firm on the price. The deadline was now December 21, Danone said in a notice varying its NZ$294 million offer for Frucor, which makes the energy drink "V" as well as a range of fruit juices, soft drinks and bottled water. Danone quelled speculation it might up the offer price from the current NZ$2.35 per share, saying an independent appraisal should dampen speculation about Frucor, despite a higher valuation range. "Shareholders should note that worse than expected performance of the UK means that the upside potential of Frucor is clearly more limited than previously thought,"Danone said. The valuation report, by Grant Samuel & Associates, valued the company's shares between NZ$2.53 and NZ$2.96, with a midpoint of NZ$2.74 -- 17 percent above Danone's offer. The speculation that a higher price might be forthcoming has seen Frucor's shares trade above Danone's offer price. They hit a high of NZ$2.52 last week, before softening to last trade up one cent at NZ$2.39. The bid from Danone, which sees Frucor as an entry into the Australasian beverage market and a chance to expand its range of brands in Asia, was priced at a 39 per cent premium to Frucor's weighted average share price over the previous three months. Frucor's major shareholding group, Pacific Equity Partners and U.S.-based Bain Capital, has already accepted Danone's offer for its 38 percent stake in Frucor.