A spike in share price has sparked rumours of a potential takeover bid for Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.

Last week, shares surged 20.75p to close at 459.75p, a 12-month high, leading to fresh speculation that a bid may be in the offing for the broker.

One insurance analyst, said: "When you see the rest of the market down and JLT up 5% you do question why? There is definitely no other reason for share price movement like that."

Reports have suggested that one bidder could be prepared to pay up to 600p per share, which would value JLT at £1.3bn, including £54m of long-term debt. But analysts dismissed that as being too high, pricing the company instead at £550m.

JLT has been widely re-garded as a potential consolidation target for a number of months. But, according to sources the long-term commitment of shareholders and JLT's management to re-structure and grow, will provide difficulties for likely bidders.

The share price rise has also led to further speculation that JLT may also be about to renew its bid for Heath Lambert.

"JLT are definitely looking to buy something themselves, whether that be individual teams or a company," the analyst added.

It failed in its attempts to takeover Heath Lambert in the summer of last year. JLT was unavailable for comment.

As Insurance Times went to press JLT shares were trading at 442.25p.