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European Stocks to Watch: Hammerson

Hammerson shares rose 6.9% following a report by weekly magazine The Business that private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts plans to make a takeover bid for the property company.

Hammerson is Britain’s third-larges listed property company, with a market capitalization of 4.9 billion pounds ($9.8 billion). Hammerson declined to comment on the speculation to CNBC Europe.

Continuing bid speculation drove Hammerson shares to record highs in late March and on its annual shareholders meeting held last Thursday, Chairman John Nelson stated that Hammerson would only consider an adequate offer reflecting the value of the company.

Also Active in European Trading:

Babcock International (up 9.7%) Shares in the British support services company jumped after it posted a 38% rise in full-year pretax profit and bought Devonport nuclear dockyard for 350 million pounds ($695 million).

Hypo Real Estate (up 7.4%) The German bank reported a 22% increase in net income and confirmed its forecast for 2007.

Nexans (up 5.7%) The French cable maker confirmed its first-half outlook and said it may boost its “medium-term financial objectives.”

Premier Foods (up 5.4%) The food producer said its January to March sales were in line with its expectations and that its growth expectations for the year are unchanged.

Yell Group (up 3.9%) Shares in Yell Group are up on speculation that a private equity group might make a 650 pence a share bid for the British telephone directories publisher, traders told Dow Jones Newswires.

Sabadell (up 2.5%) Italian bank UniCredit has bought 4% of Spain’s Banco Sabadell, sending shares higher.

Alitalia (up 2.1%) Shares of the Italian state-owned airline traded higher following a La Repubblica report saying that Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena is ready to join the Air One and Intesa Sanpaolo consortium in its bid for Alitalia, Dow Jones Newswires reported.

Petroleum Geo Services (down 4.6%) Shares in the Norwegian seismic firm fell despite the company posting a rise in first-quarter sales from a year earlier, due to the numbers coming in below analyst expectations.