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MILAN, Aug 29 (Reuters) - European shares were down slightly in opening deals on Monday with Stada among the leading losers after shares in the German drugmaker went ex-dividend, but Alstom soared after a contract win.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was down 0.1 percent by 0715 GMT, pulling back from gains seen in the previous session. Activity was expected to be thin because UK markets will stay closed for a holiday.
Stada fell 1.2 percent, making it one of the biggest losers on the STOXX. Over the weekend, activist investor Active Ownership Capital succeeded in convincing shareholders of Stada to remove the company's supervisory board chairman in a voting marathon, but failed to install its own candidate.
But Alstom rose more 2 percent after the French transport group signed a 1.8 billion euro ($2 billion) deal to design and build 28 new high-speed trains for U.S. rail operator Amtrak. ($1 = 0.8937 euros) (Reporting by Danilo Masoni)