Groupe Danone has refused to comment on reports claiming that PepsiCo remains interested in buying the French food company.

Rumours have resurfaced in France linking PepsiCo with a possible takeover of Danone, two years after the US company’s alleged interest in the company sparked much speculation in the business press.

Late last week, French business radio channel BFM claimed PepsiCo is still keen on buying Danone to enable it to “overtake” arch-rival Coca-Cola Co.

“Never has Pepsi’s appetite for Danone been so strong,” an unnamed source is believed to have told the station.

Danone, however, refused to be drawn on the report. “We have no comment to make,” a spokesperson in Paris told just-food this morning (9 July).

Two years ago, PepsiCo’s rumoured interest in Danone forced the French government to state that it would protect the company from any overseas takeover bid.

Last week, however, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon seemed to wave through the proposed sale of Danone’s biscuits and cereals division to US giant Kraft Foods.

Kraft has tabled a bid worth EUR5.3bn (US$7.2bn) Danone’s biscuit and cereal businesses, which include the LU and Petit Dejeuner brands.

Officials at PepsiCo could not be reached for comment as just-food went to press.