US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has said it has yet to decide on whether it will sell its infant nutrition business following claims that HJ Heinz, Nestle and Danone have made bids for the unit.

Pfizer told just-food today (10 January) that it is continuing to look at the options for the baby food business after starting to weigh up the alternatives last year.

"The process of exploring strategic alternatives for Pfizer’s Nutrition business is ongoing," Pfizer said. "We're currently pursuing the activities associated with evaluating all options, including sale, spin-off or other transaction. However, no decisions have been made at this point."

The company said it expected to make a decision later this year with "any transactions" completed between July this year and July 2013.

Earlier today, The New York Post, citing unnamed sources, reported that Heinz, Nestle and Danone had made first-round bids for Pfizer's infant nutrition business. Pfizer, the report claimed, would soon be arranging meetings with the bidders.

Heinz, Danone and Nestle have all been touted as potential buyers of the business since Pfizer said it was considering the "strategic alternatives" for the unit in July.

Pfizer's nutrition business sells products including infant formulas and growing-up milks in over 60 countries. It operates from five plants in Ireland, China, Singapore, the Philippines and Mexico and, in 2010, it generated sales of around US$1.9bn in 2010.

Shares in Pfizer were up 0.32% at $21.89 at 15:40 ET today. Shares in Heinz were down 0.38% to $53.04 at 15:41.

Nestle's shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange finished up 0.92% at CHF54.80. Shares in Danone closed down 0.18% at EUR48.89 in Paris.