By Steve Goldstein
Stocks in Europe climbed on Monday, led by a rally among energy stocks and some year-end takeover chatter.
After eking out a 0.4% gain last week, the Dow Jones Stoxx 600 rose 1.3% to 249.41, led by oil producers including BP, as oil traded around $75 a barrel.
BP /zigman2/quotes/202286639/delayed UK:BP +2.52% shares rose 2.5% in London and Shell /zigman2/quotes/204253697/delayed UK:RDSB +3.17% rose 2.6%. Shell said it is looking to sell its onshore Nigerian assets, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
Stocks in Europe extended gains after the strong open in the U.S., which was helped by brokerage firm upgrades of blue chips Intel and Alcoa.
At the regional level, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 1.9% to 5293.99, the German DAX added 1.7% to 5950.53 and the French CAC 40 gained 2.1% to 3872.06.
Sanofi-Aventis /zigman2/quotes/206928357/delayed FR:SAN -1.30% rose 0.2%. The company announced plans to buy Chattem for $1.9 billion, a move that would give it a presence in over-the-counter drugs in the U.S. for the first time. Separately, the company said it is stopping development of drugs for insomnia and atrial fibrillation but received fast-track designation with the Food and Drug Administration for a potential treatment for prostate cancer.
Shares of Spyker Cars rose 19.9% in Amsterdam after the Dutch sports car firm made a new offer for Saab. Late last week General Motors said it would shut down Saab, saying it was unable to reach a viable deal with Spyker.
Shares of Spain's Telecinco /zigman2/quotes/207323583/delayed ES:TL5 +3.16% dropped 4.3% in Madrid, retreating as the broadcaster inked a pact to buy Cuatro and a 22% stake in a pay-television station from Promotora de Informaciones /zigman2/quotes/201931044/delayed ES:PRS -2.08% , or Prisa, for €1.05 billion ($1.51billion) in cash and stock. Prisa's shares slid 5.3%.
Telecinco will sell €500 million of discounted shares to fund the deal, with Italy's Mediaset /zigman2/quotes/207559907/delayed IT:MS +3.28% acquiring half of those shares. Mediaset shares rose 4.3% in Milan.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs said media consolidation is already priced into the shares of Spanish media firm Antena 3 as well as Telecinco. Antena 3's shares dropped 3.4% in Madrid.
Shares of Actelion fell 3.9% in Zurich as the company's insomnia drug was successful in Phase III trials, but certain safety observations were made that will require further evaluation and assessment in longer-term, late-stage studies.
Making gains, shares of Safran /zigman2/quotes/206963350/delayed FR:SAF +0.29% rose 4.3% in Paris after it and General Electric won a contract to provide engines for China's largest passenger jet.
Eurotunnel /zigman2/quotes/207817842/delayed FR:GET +0.35% shook off early losses to rise 3.7%. Eurostar, Eurotunnel's biggest client, kept rail services suspended on Monday. Over the weekend, five Eurostar strains broke down in the tunnel under the English Channel, amid reports that some passengers were left for hours with no water or food. The "incidents were in no way due to the Tunnel infrastructure," Eurotunnel said in a statement.
Cairn Energy rose 4.7% in London on news it will drill at a Greenland oil project a year ahead of what had been previously planned.
Shares of French multimedia equipment company Thomson rose 24% in Paris after the company said a restructuring plan has been approved by committees representing suppliers and lenders. Still to vote are Thomson's noteholders, who are meeting on Tuesday.
Write to Steve Goldstein at email@example.com