(Reuters) - CP Lotus Group (0121.HK), a unit of Thailand's CP Group, is not involved in the potential acquisition of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's ParkNShop supermarket business, it said on Wednesday, contradicting rumors that had lifted its shares.
Talk that CP Group might bid for Hong Kong's dominant supermarket chain through CP Lotus had boosted the stock sharply earlier in the day, prompting the company to halt trading of its shares during mid-day trade.
CP Lotus' shares rose by as much as 41 percent to HK$0.325, the highest intraday level since May 2011.
"The board has also noted the recent speculation about the interest of entities in the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group in a process for the potential acquisition of the ParkNShop business," CP Lotus said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
"The board confirms that the company is not involved in this process," CP Lotus said, adding its shares would resume trade on Thursday.
Li's flagship company Hutchison Whampoa Ltd (0013.HK) has put the supermarket business up for sale, asking for $3-4 billion, with other potential bidders including China Resources Enterprise Ltd (0291.HK), Australia's Woolworths Ltd (WOW.AX) and Japan's Aeon Co Ltd (8267.T), sources have said.
(Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE and Meg Shen in HONG KONG; Editing by Mark Potter)