On 14 May, just-food.com reported that Dutch baby food producer Numico was facing the possibility of a buyout option. Speculation is now rife over possible suitors, and Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger has named food behemoth Nestlé and health products manufacturer Novartis.

Plummeting share prices have left the company vulnerable and CEO Hans van der Wielen commented to daily Het Financieele Dagblad: "In this era of corporate governance you cannot preserve your independence at any cost. Understand me properly - I am not opening the door. I am unlocking the door."

Van der Wielen added that Numico was prepared to become a "centre of excellence" within a larger company, but the latest newspaper report states that the market for functional foods looks less attractive now than it once did.

To visit the website of Tages-Anzeiger, click here.