Nestle and Lactalis are reportedly mulling a joint bid for the 50% stake currently held by PAI Partners in French yoghurt and milk desserts maker Yoplait.

French newspaper Le Figaro, which did not quote a source, said that Nestle and Lactalis could also act independently to acquire the stake.

When contacted by just-food, no-one at Lactalis or PAI Partners was immediately available for comment.

The private-equity fund has yet to officially put the stake up for sale but a spokesman told just-food this summer that PAI Partners had informed Yoplait’s works council that this was a possibility.

Food manufacturers including General Mills, the US licence holder for the Yoplait brand, and private-equity firms have been touted as potential suitors for PAI’s stake.

The remaining 50% of Yoplait’s capital is owned by another French dairy group, Sodiaal, which has previously indicated that it has no intention of selling any part of the stake.