Yoghurt maker Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller is in talks to buy UK milk supplier Robert Wiseman Dairies, it emerged today (13 January).

Wiseman revealed negotiations were taking place after a jump in the company’s share price. Shares in Wiseman were up 14.75% at 280p at 13:03 GMT.

“The board of Robert Wiseman Dairies notes the recent rise in the company’s share price,” the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange today. “The Board confirms that discussions regarding a possible cash offer are taking place with Müller Dairy (U.K.) Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unternehmensgruppe Theo Müller S.e.c.s. There can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the company.”

The Wiseman board said Müller must inform the company whether or not it intends to make a bid by 10 February under M&A rules.

It has proved a challenging 18 months for Wiseman, which supplies the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Group

In November, Wiseman reported a 41% drop in half-year profits as raw milk, cream and oil costs offset a rise in sales. In Wiseman’s last financial year, for the 12 months to 2 April, its annual profits fell 24%.

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Wiseman’s share price closed at 244p yesterday. On 11 January 2010, its shares were 351.2p, meaning its stock has fallen by more than 30% in the last year.