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European stocks rebounded from their longest stretch of weekly losses since August as companies from International Power Plc to Royal KPN NV rallied amid an increase in takeover activity.
The benchmark Stoxx 600 has risen 4 percent this year as the European Central Bank disbursed more than 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to the region’s lenders and as U.S. economic reports topped forecasts. The number of shares changing hands on gauge today was 4.8 percent greater than the average over 30 days.
National benchmark indexes climbed in 12 of the 17 western- European markets that were open today. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX rose 0.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 increased 0.5 percent. Greece’s stock market was closed for the Orthodox Easter holiday.
International Power added 3.2 percent to 416.8 pence after GDF Suez agreed to buy the 30 percent stake at a revised price of 418 pence a share. That’s 7 percent more than an earlier offer of 390 pence that the U.K. utility rejected as too low. GDF increased 5 percent to 18.86 euros as Europe’s biggest utility by market value confirmed that it will raise its 2012 targets if the deal goes through.
KPN rose 0.9 percent to 7.12 euros after the Netherlands’ largest phone company said it has started a review of Belgian mobile-phone unit, BASE. The business will probably attract interest from private-equity firms such as Apax Partners LLP, according to people familiar with the situation. BASE may fetch 1.8 billion euros in a sale.
Vestas Wind Systems A/S surged 13 percent to 55.55 kroner for the biggest gain on the Stoxx 600. Jyllands-Posten reported that Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. are considering bidding for the Danish company.
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