* STOXX 600 closes up 0.8 percent
* Miners lead sectoral gainers on stronger copper prices
* German drugmaker Stada soars after takeover offers
* Defence firm Saab falls as profit, dividend disappoints
* Italian banks gain after results
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By Danilo Masoni and Helen Reid
LONDON, Feb 13 European shares gained on Monday
as mining stocks touched a 2 1/2-year high on rising copper
prices and mergers and acquisitions continued to drive shares,
with takeover offers sending German drugmaker Stada
to a record high.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.8 percent,
after earlier touching its highest level since December 2015.
The basic resources index was up 2.7 percent. It led
sectoral gainers in Europe as copper prices hit their highest in
20 months in heavy trade, driven up by supply worries after
shipments were shut off from the world's two biggest copper
More than 300 people wearing hoods vandalised property at
the world's largest copper mine at the weekend and forced
contract workers to stop work during a strike at BHP Billiton's
Escondida in Chile.
"This strike is unlikely to be resolved quickly," analysts
at Jefferies said in a note.
Steel and mining company ArcelorMittal was a top
gainer, up 4.9 percent and top of the CAC 40, with heavyweight
Anglo American not far behind.
Elsewhere merger and acquisition news once again drove
activity, after German drugmaker Stada said it had received two
offers for the acquisition of the company, one of which is
private equity group Cinven Partners LLP.
Stada rose 14 percent before paring back to close up 12.8
percent, leading gainers on the STOXX 600 index and finishing
the day at just over the 56 euros per share offered by Cinven.
"Disposal of the company now looks almost certain," Natixis
analyst Philippe Lanone wrote in a note, adding that the price
offered by Cinven could be overshot.
Italy's newly merged Banco BPM was the second-top
European riser after its results, up 6.7 percent. Peer Ubi Banca
gained 6.4 percent.
"The results season just finished showed that the
improvement in asset quality is becoming more of a reality, but
the hope of improving profitability is still not fulfilled and
is postponed to 2017," a Citi note on Italian banks said.
Concern over an upcoming French election seemed far from
equity markets, as the CAC 40 outperformed European
peers to close up 1.2 percent.
Renault benefited from an upgrade from top-rated
Jefferies analyst, up 4.4 percent, and peer Peugeot gained 3.1
percent, while French mid-cap auto parts company Faurecia gained
Top loser in Europe was Swedish defence firm Saab AB
. Its shares fell 3.1 percent after its quarterly
operating profit and its dividend proposal fell short of
(Editing by Larry King)