|French lottery group La Française des jeux is looking into buying British company Camelot which runs the UK's National Lottery, it has been reported. (AFP file)|
PARIS, Dec 8 (AFP) – French lottery group La Française des jeux (FdJ) is looking into buying Camelot which runs the country's National Lottery, it has been reported.
Economic dailies Le Figaro Economique and Les Echos said FdJ had until early 2010 to make a bid, but the two newspapers said the deal was far from certain.
Le Figaro Economique said Virgin founder Richard Branson, who has twice tried to buy Camelot, had teamed up with Dutch private company People's Postcode Lottery in a third bid.
Other potential candidates included Indian lottery Sugal & Damani, and Italy's Lottomatica, number one in Europe ahead of Française des jeux, along with investment funds.
Les Echos said the candidature of a public monopoly to buy a cross-Channel private company could raise some eyebrows.
Asked by AFP about the possibility of such an operation, FdJ refused to comment.