Danone has confirmed it will not make a hostile move to up its stake in Japanese probiotic drinks group Yakult Honsha.

The Activia maker told just-food it had no plans to move to try to increase its 20% shareholding.

"The only comment I can make is that Danone does not plan to launch a hostile takeover to raise its stake in Yakult Honsha," a spokesperson said.

There was speculation last year that Danone wanted to increase its stake in Yakult. In May, Reuters reported a Yakult executive as saying the company did not want Danone to up its stake.

However, last week, a Yakult spokesperson, speaking to Bloomberg, said talks were continuing between the companies.

The Danone spokesperson refused to be drawn further on the situation.