Shares in French food and drinks group Danone rose by more than 3% on Friday on the back of speculation that it may be a takeover target for either Kraft Foods Inc. or PepsiCo Inc. Danone said it had no comment to make on the rumours.

Speculation was fuelled by comments from the French Industry Minister Francois Loos which were interpreted as an indication that the government may cease in its efforts to protect Danone from a hostile bid.

The company has been the subject of continual takeover speculation for some time, with PepsiCo often cited as a possible suitor.