Merrydown has issued a statement regarding recent shifts in its share price. "The board of Merrydown confirms that it is currently in discussions which may or may not lead to an offer for the company," the statement said.

"These discussions are at an early stage and there is no certainty that a formal offer will result.

"Shareholders are recommended to take no action at this stage," the owner of Shloer adult soft drink and Merrydown cider brand concluded. "A further announcement will be made in due course."

The Merrydown board said it is being advised by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.