BUZZ-Rolls-Royce hits 18-month high after $2bln ITP Aero sale

Stock biggest gainer on UK blue-chip index


* Shares of British engineering co up 10.46% at 146.35p, after hitting an 18-month high of 146.8p

** Stock biggest gainer on UK blue-chip index, extends gains into eighth straight day

** Co said it agreed to sell its Spanish unit ITP Aero to a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity for 1.7 bln euros ($2.0 bln), helping it to hit its 2 bln pound target for its disposal programme.

** Shares were already up after co said earlier on Monday it was selected to provide engines for the U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bombers, in a contract that could be worth up to $2.6 bln.

** RR's F-130 engines were chosen for the replacement engines for the bombers, beating incumbent supplier Pratt & Whitney, part of U.S. company Raytheon 

** Jefferies calls the contract win a good one for co

** Brokerage doesn't expect the announcement to make any significant change to consensus forecasts, but says it does provide "additional comfort" to longer-term consensus forecasts

** RR shares up ~19% this year, as of Friday's close

(Reporting by Tapanjana Rudra) ((;))

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