Danone and several firms working for the French food giant were recently paid a visit by investigators from France's stock market regulator, the AMF, French media reports claim.

Last week, the AMF sent teams to Danone's HQ and to those of its banker Lazard and to PR consultants Euro RSCG and DGM as part of an enquiry into the origin of rumours earlier this year of a possible hostile takeover bid by PepsiCo for Danone. The intense speculation saw Danone's shares increase in value by over 30% in the space of a few weeks.

The AMF's objective is to verify that none of the interested parties had knowingly spread information that was inaccurate and misleading, in breach of stock market regulations. The AMF is also looking to ascertain that no insider trading took place or manipulation of Danone's share price, the reports added.

The AMF and the firms in question have refused to comment on the enquiry.