April 7, 2014 / 7:15 AM / 4 years ago

Europe shares halt rally; Lafarge, Holcim surge on merger

PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) - European stocks fell in early trading on Monday, halting their brisk three-week rally and tracking a selloff on Wall Street on Friday where a number of high-growth companies mostly in the tech and biotech tumbled.

Losses were cushioned, however, as M&A activity in Europe fuelled hopes of further consolidation.

Switzerland’s Holcim unveiled an all-share deal to buy France’s Lafarge on Monday to create the world’s biggest cement maker with combined sales of 32 billion euros ($44 billion). Holcim shares were up 5.6 percent while Lafarge gained 3.8 percent.

Numericable jumped 15 percent after winning a fierce month-long bidding war against mobile rival Bouygues for the prize of SFR as Vivendi announced it had decided to go with Numericable’s offer. Bouygues shares were down 6.2 percent.

Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Atul Prakash

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