Shares in meat processor Tyson Foods rose by more than 5% yesterday (21 June) to their highest level since 1998, on the back of rumours that the group is to be the target of a takeover.

The company’s shares rose by US$1.20 to $24.20 in mid-afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company spokesman Gary Mickelson would not make any comment on the rise in the share price and told Reuters that he was unaware of any basis for the takeover rumours.

Analysts have played down the prospects of Tyson becoming a takeover target, suggesting that any US food company with the scale to move for Tyson would certainly face regulatory hurdles, though it has been suggested that an overseas buyer or an investor group would face fewer problems in this regard.