UPDATE 1-Greek power grid operator HEDNO attracts 11 investors

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ATHENS, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Eleven investors have expressed interest in an auction for a minority stake in Greece’s sole power network operator, HEDNO, power utility Public Power Corp (PPC) said on Friday.

Strategic investors, grid operators and investment funds submitted expressions of interest for a 49% stake in HEDNO by Friday’s deadline, PPC, which fully owns HEDNO and is managing the sale, said in a statement.

PPC, the country’s biggest state-owned power utility, did not disclose the names of the investors.

People familiar with the tender have told Reuters that asset managers Ardian, Macquarie and First Sentier were among the potential bidders for the sale.

HEDNO operates a 242,000-kilometre long grid bringing electricity to about 7 million households and businesses across the country.

Given its enterprise value of about 5 billion euros ($6.06 billion), the stake could be worth around 2.45 billion euros.

PPC will evaluate which investors qualify to participate in the next stage of the auction, the submission of binding financial bids.

HEDNO plans to spend about 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) by 2023 to upgrade its network, which has been hurt by underspending during a decade-long financial crisis in Greece. ($1 = 0.8249 euros) (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Alison Williams and Steve Orlofsky)