Finance Secretary John Swinney said he is disappointed that a plan to rescue a closure-threatened meat processing plant has been rejected by its owners.
Vion Food UK announced in July that it is consulting on the future of its Hall's of Broxburn factory, putting about 1,700 jobs at risk. The consultation closes in less than three weeks' time.
The Scottish Government on Wednesday night revealed that it and its partners on a taskforce set up to try to save the plant were willing to buy the West Lothian factory and lease it back the parent company "on a commercial basis".
However, ministers said the proposal - which the Finance Secretary described as a "creative" offer - has been turned down by Vion. In a statement, Mr Swinney said: "I have formulated a substantial proposal that would see the Government, working with West Lothian Council and Scottish Enterprise, purchasing and leasing back the Halls site on a commercial basis to enable significant capital investment to be made.
"Along with the leader of West Lothian Council, councillor John McGinty, I put these proposals last week to Peter Bekkers, the chief operating officer at Vion International. Vion - whilst welcoming the innovative nature of the proposals - has advised the taskforce that the proposal is not sufficient to be acceptable to the company."
Potential savings of £4 million had also been identified, Mr Swinney said in the statement.
The Finance Secretary voiced his disappointment at the development in a BBC Scotland interview on Friday. He did, however, reveal that two other un-named parties have expressed an interest in the business.
Mr Swinney told the Good Morning Scotland programme: "I'm disappointed that one of the options we have taken forward has been turned down by Vion. This was a very creative offer which, I think, recognised the fact that there was a way forward because a number of the improvements that have been suggested by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service in terms of productivity, energy efficiency and improvements in sales and marketing were going to improve the financial performance of the plant.
"But what we needed was a long-term strategic solution, which we put in place, but regrettably Vion have decided that it's not sufficient to take forward their interest in terms of this proposal."
Mr Swinney said buying the food factory would have cost about £2 million and the proposed rescue plan was "essentially a commercial transaction".