Greencore is not being drawn on reports that Icelandic investment firm Exista is to make a possible bid for the Ireland-based food group.

Exista, which has reportedly built up an 8% share in Greencore, is said to be hiring Deutsche Bank to advise on the possible bid, with plans to merge the Irish company's food interests with those of Geest, which it owns through food company Bakkavor.

A spokesperson for Greencore said some its direct competitors had built up stakes in the company but there was no need for change to implement its strategy.

"We can't comment on what people's intentions are and why this has come into the public domain," the spokesperson told just-food. "As far as we are concerned we don't require a change in ownership or shareholding to continue with our development plans, but if anybody wants to take a view on that, then our shares are there for anybody to buy."

A spokesperson for Exista could not be reached for comment.

Last year, Irish property developer Liam Carroll declared a stake in Greencore just shy of 30%.