Two bidders remain in Camelot pursuit- FT

LONDON, March 19 Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:04pm EDT

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - The race to buy the British national lottery operator Camelot has narrowed to two contenders and a decision on the preferred bidder could come as early as next week, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Private equity firms CVC and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan remain as bidders in the auction, which is being run by Investment banks Rothschild and Greenhill & Co, the paper said.

Camelot, which has a nine-year licence left to run the lottery, and an option to extend that for a further five years has attracted interest from a number of private equity firms, since Royal Mail agreed to sell its stake last year.

No one at Camelot, CVC and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan could immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Carol Bishopric)