Shire tops flat European shares on bid hopes

LONDON, June 20 Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:18am EDT

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - A rally in drugmaker Shire helped European bourses hold onto recent gains on Friday on news the British drugs maker had been the object of a takeover bid from U.S. rival AbbVie.

Shares in Shire rose 13 percent after AbbVie confirmed it had made a bid approach for the British group, which was rejected by Shire's board. It said talks were no longer ongoing.

"I'd probably take some profit there and then go back in," said Mike Reuter, a broker at Tradition. "The stock won't crash. It's an M&A candidate and I think there will be an offer, eventually."

Shire's stock added 0.9 points to the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which was up 1.1 points, or 0.1 percent at 1,396.53 points at 0711 GMT.

The index, which hit a 6-1/2 year high on Thursday, was on track for its tenth consecutive weekly gain, extending its longest winning run since August 2012. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa; editing by Blaise Robinson)