French catering and services group Sodexho Alliance said this morning that it was not interested in a $5bn (£2.5bn) bid for Jones Lang LaSalle

In response to a report in French weekly newsletter La Lettre de l'Expansion that Sodexho had hired investment bank Lazard in a planned bid for the US-listed property services company, a spokeswoman for the company said: ‘We deny we are interested in Jones Lang LaSalle’.

La Lettre de l'Expansion claimed sources said Sodexho was eyeing a $137 a share bid, which values JLL at more than $5bn. Sodexho, it said, would pay for the acquisition in debt and through a $1bn (£500m) sale of shares.

JLL’s shares closed last Friday in New York at $109.33, valuing it at $4bn (£2bn).