UPDATE 1-Loewe shares jump 43 percent on Apple bid talk

Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:49am EST

* Apple seen bidding 4 euros a share for Loewe, traders say

* Shares jump more than 40 percent to 3.93 euros

* Loewe says unaware of any offer; Apple declines to comment

* Plans for a bid reported by web blog in May last year

FRANKFURT, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Shares in German luxury TV maker Loewe surged on talk of a bid from Apple , rumours that first surfaced in May last year.

"Apple supposedly wants to bid 4 euros a share for Loewe," said a trader.

Shares in the maker of high-end home entertainment sets, founded in 1923 in Berlin, rose 33 percent to 3.63 euros ($4.89)by 1440 GMT, having hit 3.93, valuing the company at 53 million euros.

A Loewe spokesman said it was unaware of any offer. An Apple declined spokesman declined to comment.

Web blog AppleInsider reported in May last year, citing a person familiar with the matter, that Apple would bid 87.3 million euros, then a 48 percent premium, for Loewe.

Loewe is axing a fifth of its 1,000 jobs after losses almost tripled to 29 million euros in 2012 and it is trying to strengthen its cooperation with Sharp.

Sharp owns 28 percent of Loewe shares, and Loewe's management owns 13 percent. A further 11 percent are held by LaCie, while 49 percent of the company's shares are freely traded, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It would not be the first foray into television for Apple, whose products stream Netflix, YouTube and iTunes content.

The company has been long rumoured to be working on a television but has so far deflected questions on its existence. Apple hasn not launched a new line of products in almost three years, apart from a smaller version of the iPad.