* Bidder says investment proposal will top 7 billion euros
* Athens hopes deal will help meet 2014 privatisation target
* Greece to evaluate bid by mid-March
(Adds opposition, government comment in paragraphs 7-8)
By Angeliki Koutantou
ATHENS, Feb 27 Greece's Lamda Development
, backed by China's Fosun and an Abu
Dhabi-based real estate company, submitted on Thursday the sole
binding bid for a major privatisation deal to develop the former
Athens airport of Hellenikon.
Greece has repeatedly missed privatisation targets and has
so far raised 2.6 billion euros ($3.56 billion), well below the
22 billion targeted in its first EU/IMF bailout in 2010.
Hellenikon is a key project for the debt-laden country to
meet a 3.6 billion euro privatisation target set by its lenders
this year, though Athens has not disclosed how much money it
expects to raise from the 99-year lease of the seaside property.
Lamda Development said the group would invest more than 7
billion euros in the project. Greece's privatisations agency
HRADF will evaluate the bid by mid-March.
"Some of the world's biggest investment funds decided to
invest in our country showing their confidence in the prospects
of the Greek economy," Lamda's Chief Executive Odysseas
Athanassiou said in a statement.
Athens expects the development of Hellenikon, located on
Athens' southern coast, to create thousands of jobs in the
country, where unemployment has hit a record of 28 percent.
Greece's anti-bailout opposition leader Alexis Tsipras,
whose leftist Syriza party wants to turn the plot into a park,
accused the privatisations agency of an "unprecedented clearance
sale" of state assets that was against the publiic interest.
Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said Tsipras was
trying to undermine the country's exit from the crisis and scare
off investors. "We will not let Hellinikon become his rubbish
dump," he said.
Two other suitors, Israel's Elbit Cochin Island
and UK-based London and Regional Properties, pulled out of the
race for the development of the 620-hectare site near central
Athens. Qatar Diar also pulled out last year.
Hellenikon includes several abandoned Olympic venues built
for the 2004 Games and a marina. Investors were first invited to
express interest in 2011 but it has taken more than two years to
settle planning issues and remove legal hurdles raised by
opponents and local communities.
China's Fosun is also the second-biggest shareholder of
Greece's top jewellery retailer Folli Follie. Al
Maabar, a unit of Abu Dhabi's sovereign fund Mubadala
Development, and European investors have also teamed up with
Lamda for the project.
($1 = 0.7309 euros)
(Additional reporting by Karolina Tagaris, editing by David