Valeo has denied a media report saying that it was in talks with India's Hinduja Group over the sale of a controlling stake in the company for USD1.5bn.

The Business Standard reported on Monday that executives from Hinduja, which controls India's No. 2 bus and truck maker Ashok Leyland Ltd , met the management team at Valeo in Paris last week, citing a source familiar with the development.

The French company said in a statement on Monday: "Following information published in the Indian press, Valeo denies being in talks with Hinduja Group over the sale of a stake in Valeo."

Shares in Valeo rose sharply here after the Hinduja interest reports.

India's Business Standard newspaper said officials from Hinduja's bus and truck unit Ashok Leyland met representatives from Valeo in Paris last week to discuss the offer.

A Hinduja group spokesman in Mumbai said the report was 'speculative' and declined further comment.

Valeo has recently seen behind the scenes arguments over strategy between its existing board and New York City hedge firm Pardus, which has amassed a 19.7% stake in the company.

There has also been speculation of a coming together of Valeo and Visteon (Pardus has a significant stake in Visteon) and Pardus is also believed to be experiencing troubles with some of its investments.

In a separate development Hinduja appointed former Tata Motors executive V Sumantran as Executive Vice-Chairman of newly formed Hinduja Automotive UK.

Sumantran, along with Managing Director of Ashok Leyland R Seshasayee, will be responsible for the development and execution of growth strategy and for the overall performance of the global automotive portfolio of the Hinduja Group, according to a statement. Sumantran's experience includes his current auto industry consultancy practice. Prior to this, he was the Executive Director of Tata Motors Passenger Car Business and Engineering Research Centre. He has also worked with General Motors.

In recent months, Hinduja Group companies have forged significant international technology partnerships in the areas of castings, vehicle electronics with Continental AG and are partnering Nissan Motors in a USD500m foray into Light Commercial Vehicles segment.