Although reports have been circulating that Nestlé is gearing up to buy Heinz’s Linda McCartney frozen food business, neither company is prepared to confirm that a deal could be on the horizon.

Nestlé has a controlling 50.1% stake in Israeli firm Osem, whose subsidiary Tivall is rumoured to be preparing a bid for the vegetarian frozen food manufacturer.

A spokesperson for Nestlé told just-food that, at this stage, the rumours are “purely speculation” and declined to comment further on the possible acquisition.

When approached by just-food, Heinz declined to comment on specific talks for the Linda McCartney brand but did confirm that it was evaluating its European frozen food business. “Heinz continues to explore all options to maximise the value of its European frozen business,” the company said.

The rumours come following a spate of sales as Heinz refocuses its businesses to concentrate on ketchups and sauces, meals and snacks and infant nutrition.