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LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - European shares advanced on Wednesday, with Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia leading the market higher after agreeing to buy Alcatel-Lucent.
Nokia shares rose 3.1 percent after an all-share transaction that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion). The deal will be finalised in the first half of 2016 and is expected to result in 900 million euros of operating cost savings by the end of 2019, the firms said.
However, shares in Alcatel-Lucent, which surged 16 percent in the previous session on expectations of the deal, fell 11 percent, with some analysts saying that the deal appeared less attractive for Alcatel on the basis of Tuesday's share price rally.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.3 percent at 1,643.93 points by 0715 GMT.
Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Francesco Canepa