• Company declines to comment on market speculation or rumor
  • Mead Johnson's stock had lost 24% in a year through Monday

Shares of infant formula maker Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. rose as much as 11 percent Tuesday after a blog post on the Betaville website suggested that rivals Nestle SA and Danone might be interested in taking it over.

Mead Johnson has started working with bankers from Lazard Ltd. after receiving expressions of interest from Nestle and Danone, according to the short blog post on Monday, which cited unidentified sources.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on marketplace speculation or rumor,”said Chris Perille, a spokesman for Mead Johnson, said in an e-mailed statement. Representatives from Nestle and Danone declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Lazard didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mead Johnson has been the center of recurring takeover speculation over the past years, with Danone and Nestle often cited as potential suitors.

Before Tuesday, the stock had dropped 24 percent in a year. The shares were up 9.9 percent to $82.93 at 12:47 p.m. New York time.

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