Müller UK has begun takeover talks with dairy giant Robert Wiseman.

With its share price on the rise amid speculation a bid could materialise, Wiseman confirmed to investors this afternoon that talks were underway.

“The board confirms that discussions regarding a possible cash offer are taking place with Müller Dairy (UK),” the company said. “There can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the company.”

Müller must make a firm offer for Wiseman or confirm that it will not do so by 10 February.

In its latest financial statement, Wiseman reported that operating profit had fallen 40.6% to £12.5m in the six months to 1 October. The company’s share price had fallen from 320p in September last year to 240p at close of play yesterday.