Dairy Crest has today denied that it is talks that would see the company be subject to a takeover.

Shares in the UK’s largest dairy producer climbed after reports appeared in the press that the company had been involved in takeover talks with France’s Groupe Lactalis.

However, in a statement released to just-food, Dairy Crest denied the rumours.

In an official statement the company confirmed “that it has not received a formal approach or indicative offer for the company and that it is not engaged in such discussions with Lactalis or any other party.”

A spokesperson told just-food the company would not comment beyond the statement.

Reports earlier today (19 December) suggested that Lactalis, Europe’s biggest dairy company, was considering an all-in bid of GBP£800m (US$1.4 billion) or 630 pence per share for Dairy Crest.

Share prices quickly felt the effect of these rumours, witnessing the biggest gains since the company went public in 1996. Prices rose to a high of 572 pence. As Dairy Crest moved to dispel the rumours, share prices stabilised at 529 pence, around 10% up.