Lindt and Westons in the frame?
Beverages-to-homewares retailer Whittard of Chelsea has confirmed it has received a number of approaches that may lead to an offer for the company.

The announcement is in response to a run on the retailer's shares, which have leaped 30 per cent in price since yesterday's close. However, analysts will be taking the news with a pinch of salt, because it follows a number of similar announcements from retailers, from Peacocks to Game, which have so far come to nothing.

Seymour Pierce analyst Rhys Williams noted that the Whittard statement suggests it has been approached by more than one party, indicating the possibility of an auction for the retailer.

He said: 'In addition, the presence of Cavendish as an advisor to Whittard sounds like it could be attempting to create an auction of the business, since Cavendish is usually only called to sell businesses. This could create a price higher than what is originally thought and so we look for a share price of 150p or higher.'

The share price was about 123p at time of writing.

Although Williams acknowledged that no details of the approaching parties was given, he suggested the possibility of Lindt, which already has a joint venture with Whittard, being interested in the retailer, as well as the Weston family.