The French food and drinks group Danone SA has denied that the company is in talks with PepsiCo Inc. regarding a possible takeover of the company.

The denial has partly eased the rampant speculation about the future of Danone which has continued during the past few months. Danone's shares fell by 3.2% to €90.95 following the statement.

Danone chairman Franck Riboud said in a statement on the company's website that "there have been no talks with PepsiCo, and there are none now," confirming his own opposition to any takeover attempt. Riboud added that he believed the French government should intervene if Danone were to become a takeover target.

PepsiCo made no comment on the remarks.