Harris Corporation has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement saying that the company is not for sale.

Responding to recent market rumours and media reports, the US-based manufacturer said approaches had been made but no merger or sale was imminent.

”We are not pursuing, discussing or examining a sale or merger of Harris,” said chief executive Howard L Lance.

“From time to time, it's accurate to say we have been approached by other companies that see our track record, see our brand and see synergies. The directors and I have great confidence in this company, its employees and its future.”

The decision to release a statement was made because the talk of a sale was becoming a distraction, with Harris insisting that “it could be damaging to the company, and could fuel speculation in our stock”.

US newspapers have linked Harris with a number of $10bn deals. General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman were named among the potential buyers.

Harris Broadcast Com-muni-cations, a division of Harris Communi-cations, makes broadcast servers, infrastructure products and transmitters for radio and TV.