Harley-Davidson shares pare gains after comment on buyout speculation

The logo of Harley Davidson company is pictured on a motorcycle in Paris, France, May 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen

(Reuters) - Harley-Davidson Inc. HOG.N shares jumped nearly 7 percent early on Wednesday as speculation resurfaced the company was a buyout target of equity firm Kohlberg Kravis and Roberts.

Shares then pared gains after a company spokesperson said the company was not “aware of” anything specific that boosted the shares about 6.8 percent. At midday Harley shares were up about 3 percent.

“We don’t comment on rumors,” Maripat Blankenheim, Harley-Davidson spokesperson said. “Those kinds of rumors happen every now and again.”

Earlier this year Harley shares surged 17 percent on takeover speculation.

Reporting By Meredith Davis in Chicago; Editing by Andrew Hay