European shares off to steady start on M&A, ECB speculation
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 0.1, Euro STOXX 50 flat
* ITV up on Liberty bid speculation
* Novartis rallies on heart failure drug's prospects
* Investors weigh ECB stimulus bet against geopolitical woes
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - European shares kicked off September on a flat note as investors weighed mergers and acquisitions speculation and expectations of new monetary largesse in Europe against tensions in Ukraine and weak economic data out of China.
British broadcaster ITV rose 1.9 percent after the Telegraph reported Liberty Global Plc was canvassing support from major ITV shareholders following its acquisition of a 6.4 percent stake, raising speculation of a full takeover bid.
"Liberty has a 6 percent stake, arrived in Europe last year wanting to buy everything and have followed through on very little," Justin Haque, a broker a Hobart Capital Markets, said.
"ITV is on a cheap (multiple and) ... a clear recovery trajectory." Continuación...