Dairy Farmers, one of Australia's leading dairy groups, has refused to be drawn on reports that it is looking for a buyer.

Reports in Australia claim Dairy Farmers will send out an information memorandum to prospective buyers next month.

The co-operative has been mulling whether to list on the Australian Stock Exchange and it insisted all options remain on the table.

"Dairy Farmers is exploring a range of options, including a potential listing, to maximise the value of farmer shareholders' equity in the business," a spokesman told just-food today (20 December).

Industry watchers claim Dairy Farmers would command a price tag of A$630m-1.05bn (US$540-900m) and would attract interest from the likes of Fonterra, Goodman Fielder and Japan's Kirin Holdings.

Reports have also claimed that Dairy Farmers may also consider merging with Parmalat's Australian business and floating the enlarged company on the ASX.

The spokesman, however, remained tight-lipped. "We don't comment on market rumour or speculation," he said.