LONDON -- Medical-device firm Smith & Nephew PLC said Friday it's not involved in talks that could result in a merger or a takeover of the company. The statement follows media reports that Johnson & Johnson is interested in making an offer for the firm. Additionally, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported Friday that Smith & Nephew plans to start informal talks with U.S.-based Biomet about a possible 15 billion pound ($23.8 billion) merger. "Smith & Nephew has a long-standing policy of not commenting on press speculation, unless there is a regulatory obligation to do so," the firm said in a statement Friday. "However, exceptionally, Smith & Nephew wishes to clarify that it is not engaged in any discussions which could lead to a merger or a takeover involving the company." In morning trading, shares of Smith & Nephew rallied to an intraday high of 716 pence following the Telegraph report. After the company's statement, shares were trading down 0.7% to 680 pence.

Copyright © 2011 MarketWatch, Inc.