M&A, car sales help European shares to highest since July 2007
* FTSEurofirst 300 up 1.1 pct, hits highest since July 2007
* M&A speculation boosts Burberry, Mediaset
* Auto sector rises on strong sales data
By Francesco Canepa and Blaise Robinson
LONDON/PARIS, April 9 (Reuters) - European shares rose to their highest in nearly eight years on Thursday on the prospect of more corporate deals, as well as figures showing a strong recovery in Europe's auto sector and robust German data.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index provisionally closed up 1.1 percent to 1,630.08 points, hitting its highest level since July 2007 and taking its gains so far this year to 19 percent.
Lafarge and Holcim rose 5.7 percent and 3.6 percent respectively after they chose the chief executive of their combined company, allowing the cement groups to clinch their $40 billion merger if shareholders back it next month.
British luxury goods maker Burberry rose 2.8 percent after positive numbers from Mulberry and talk of consolidation in the sector.
Burberry was flagged by Goldman Sachs among shares on its "conviction buy" lists for which its sees a bid probability of 30 percent or more. Continuación...