* Eight possible bids for Greek sports betting monopoly OPAP
* Suitors include Fosun, BC Partners, TPG Capital, Playtech
ATHENS Nov 10 Eight potential investors,
including a Chinese conglomerate and private equity funds, have
expressed interest in buying a major stake in Greek gambling
monopoly OPAP, the country's privatisation agency
HRADF said on Saturday.
Among the firms responding to a Nov. 9 deadline to express
interest was a unit of Fosun International, one of
China's largest business groups whose main shareholder is
billionaire Guo Guangchang.
Athens is selling 33 percent, almost its entire stake in
OPAP, one of Europe's biggest-listed gambling firms with a total
market capitalisation of 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion) on the
Athens Stock Exchange.
Other potential bidders include private equity firms BC
Partners and TPG Capital LP. Estonia-based
Playtech, the world's biggest provider of online gaming
software, teamed up with German gaming equipment maker
Gauselmann AG to consider a bid.
OPAP is the crown jewel in Greece's privatisation programme
for 2013, when the debt-laden country plans to raise about 2.6
billion euros by selling a string of state companies as part of
its international bailout.
Activist investor fund Third Point, whose hedge fund manager
Daniel Loeb built a major position in distressed Greek
government bonds in September, also expressed interest.
The other three bidders are a group advised by Greek
shipping tycoon George Melisanidis and Czech investor Jiri
Smejc; Greek gaming software firm Intralot, which is
OPAP's technology provider; and Triple Five World Group
Greece, which aims to pick an investor for OPAP early in
2013, is advised by Deutsche Bank and National Bank of Greece.