* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.3 percent
* Grifols and Shire bounce after acquisitions
* BSkyB falls after BT nets Champions League games
* RSA drops after probe into Irish unit
By Alistair Smout and Julia Fioretti
LONDON, Nov 11 Europe's top shares rose on
Monday, led by health care stocks after well-received
acquisitions in the sector, with gains capped by steep drops for
broadcaster BSkyB and insurer RSA.
Spanish pharmaceutical firm Grifols gained 3.8
percent after acquiring a blood transfusion testing unit from
Novartis, while Shire rose 2 percent after
strengthening its portfolio in a $4.2 billion deal to acquire
"Usually it's better to be the acquired than the acquirer,
but the market seems to like these deals. Shire said the deal
would help earnings in the first year though, which was somewhat
comforting," Mike Ingram, analyst at BGC Partners, said.
"A pick-up in M&A activity is in general good."
The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 0.3 percent to 1,299.09
points by 1541 GMT, while the euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX
50 firmed 0.7 percent to 3,055.08 points.
Technical analysts were bullish on the Euro STOXX 50, which
rose well above its 20-day moving average at 3,036. Craig Erlam
at Alpari targeted 3,106, the five-year high hit last week.
But BSkyB and RSA nursed double-digit
Britain's dominant pay-TV operator shed 10.4 percent to
833.5 pence in brisk trade as investors recoiled from the
group's loss of Champions League soccer rights to BT,
which rose 0.4 percent.
Analysts said the defeat also raised the likelihood that
BSkyB would have to bid very aggressively to keep the English
Premier League rights when they next comes up for auction.
"This may be an overreaction, but with BSkyB appearing to be
losing their grip on content exclusivity and the price bar now
being raised for the Barclays Premiership the only real winners
here appear to be the football clubs," Mike McCudden, head of
derivatives at Interactive Investor, said.
Trading volume in BSkyB stood at 460 percent of its 90-day
daily average, against the FTSEurofirst 300 on 35 percent.
Britain's largest general insurer RSA was also down 10.4
percent, in volume 8 times its 90-day average, on news it is
probing losses and premiums at its Irish unit stretching back at
least two years after an internal audit triggered the group's
second profit warning in a week.