* Pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 0.2 pct
* Ahold and Delhaize gain sharply on M&A report
* Amadeus slips on Lufthansa ticket surcharge
By Atul Prakash
LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) - European shares edged higher on Wednesday, with supermarket groups Ahold and Delhaize advancing after media reports suggesting merger talks between the two could come to a successful conclusion as early as June.
Shares in Ahold and Delhaize rose 3.6 percent and 6.3 percent respectively. The two companies are in talks to create a top 20 global retailer with a major presence in the United States. A deal would see a combined retailer worth around 23 billion euros ($25.60 billion).
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.2 percent at 1,575.13 points by 0804 GMT after falling 0.9 percent in the previous session. The index is still up about 15 percent so far this year.
Greece’s benchmark ATG share index outperformed the broader market by gaining 2.6 percent on expectations that a debt deal was likely to be finalised soon.
Greece’s creditors on Tuesday drafted the broad lines of an agreement to put to the leftist government in Athens in a bid to conclude four months of acrimonious negotiations and release aid before the country runs out of money.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras heads to Brussels on Wednesday to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. The spokesman for the ruling Syriza party said Greece will not make a June 5 repayment without a deal with its international creditors soon.
“European equities are showing very few signs of an imminent rebound after the losses suffered during the past few days,” Markus Huber, senior analyst at Peregrine & Black, said. “Overall there is still some optimism that a deal will be struck in the end but for now uncertainty is likely to continue.”
Investors will also keep an eye on the policy meeting of the European Central Bank later in the day. The central bank is widely expected to reaffirm its commitment to its trillion-euro asset purchase programme.
On the downside, Spanish travel booking technology company Amadeus fell 6.2 percent after German airline Lufthansa said it will levy a 16-euro surcharge on tickets not booked on their website. Analysts said there were concerns that others would want to do the same.
“Lufthansa’s relationship with Amadeus has been difficult before, with Lufthansa introducing a 4.90 euro booking fee premium on Amadeus-led bookings after deregulation at the end of 2007,” UBS said in a note to investors.
“The question will be whether other airlines follow suit.”
Europe bourses in 2015: link.reuters.com/pap87v
Asset performance in 2015: link.reuters.com/gap87v
Today’s European research round-up
Additional reporting by Paul Day in Madrid; Editing by Andrew Heavens