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European Stocks to Watch: Scottish and Newcastle

Shares of Britain’s biggest brewer Scottish & Newcastle jumped 5.72% on speculation of a takeover by Carlsberg, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Danish brewer Carlsberg (down 0.17%) said Friday it planned to change its share structure to prepare the company for acquisitions.

"We have no concrete acquisition plans at the moment, but our focus is on Asia and Eastern and Western Europe," Carlsberg Chief Executive Nils Andersen told Reuters. He would not comment on rumors about an acquisition of S&N.

A possible deal with S&N would bring the Russian and east European brewer Baltic Beverages Holding (BBH) under one owner, Reuters reported. BBH, which controls Russia's Baltika, has a leading 36.4% share of the Russian beer market, the world's fifth largest and one of the fastest growing, and produces around 30% of S&N's profits and over a third of Carlsberg's, according to Reuters.

Also Active in European Trading:

Spirent Communications (up 11.99%) Shares of the British telecommunications testing company soared after it announced that it plans to improve profitability through restructuring and cost cutting.

Scania (up 5.65%) The Swedish truck maker posted first-quarter pretax earnings well ahead of market expectations on Friday.

Dassault Systemes (up 5.47%) The French software company posted a 15% rise in first-quarter earnings per share that came in above analysts’ expectations and raised its full-year revenue growth target.

Vedior (up 5.56%) The Dutch staffing company reported a forecast-beating 44% rise in first-quarter net profit to 44.7 million euros ($61 million).

Deutsche Postbank (up 3.61%) and Deutsche Post (up 3.45%) Shares in Deutsche Postbank rose after rumors that TCI could be interested in buying a stake in Deutsche Post, which owns Deutsche Postbank, a trader told Reuters.

Adecco (up 3.45%) The Swiss staffing group’s shares traded higher due to the robust earnings results of rival Dutch Vedior bringing up the employment services sector.

Peugeot (up 1.06%) The French car maker posted stronger-than-expected sales growth in the first-quarter this year, driven by mix and inventory build.

Colt Telecom (down 7.95%) The U.K. telecommunications company reported lower-than-expected first-quarter earnings and warned of flat earnings for the rest of the year amid a competitive market.