French retail giant Carrefour has denied newspaper claims that it has been holding talks with US titan Wal-Mart.

The Mail on Sunday claimed that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott and Carrefour chairman Luc Vandevelde had held talks in Versailles within the last month and that the meeting may have been a precursor to a Wal-Mart bid for the French company, reported Reuters.

“Carrefour denies that there have been any talks between Carrefour and Wal-Mart,” a company spokeswoman was quoted by Reuters as saying.

The report prompted a 2.1% rise in the value of Carrefour shares, despite the denial. It was the latest in a string of reports centring on possible bids for the French retailer, with both Wal-Mart and the UK’s Tesco cited as potential bidders.