French supermarket chain Intermarché has cooled claims a bid for Gad, one of France's leading pork processors, is imminent.

Gad today (22 August) told its works council it had filed for liquidation with a commercial court in Rennes.

Earlier this month, Gad told just-food it was hoping the court would order the liquidation of the company while granting a two-month reprieve during which it would continue to trade, as well as providing breathing space to finalise a takeover bid.

This week, French Agriculture Minister, Stephane Le Foll, told Gad union representatives Intermarché would submit a bid or Gad by the end of August or at the latest early September, raising hopes the company would be saved.

However, Intermarché said today it was "premature to consider a firm offer will be made soon".

"We are at a preliminary stage of proceedings where information is gathered within the framework of a possible takeover bid," Intermarché subsidiary SVA Jean Rozé said.