Britain’s biggest sandwich manufacturer Greencore has announced a takeover approach by a mystery bidder moments after share prices increased.

The Dublin-based firm issued a statement yesterday (25 October) just after share prices soared by 10% in early trading at the Irish Stock Exchange.

The group said: "The board notes the movement in the company’s share price and confirms that it has received an approach which may or may not lead to an offer. The board would like to emphasise that the discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty whether any offer will be forthcoming."

Speculation within the industry has seen names such as rival Irish food company Kerry Group named as one of the potential bidders, in addition to foreign organisations.

Premier Foods, Bakkavor, 2 Sisters and Samworth Brothers have been ruled out of the running due to heavy debts or existing acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Greencore acquired convenience food group Uniq in a £113m buy-out, who supply their products to Marks and Spencer.