Italy's state railways <IPO-FERRO.MI> is considering bidding for Greece's rail network TRAINOSE, a spokesman for Ferrovie dello Stato said on Wednesday.
"We are studying the dossier but it's still in a preliminary phase," the spokesman told Reuters.
Italy plans to privatise its national rail services to help reduce public debt though it is not clear yet if the sale will happen this year or next.
Greece's leftist government halted the sale of TRAINOSE along with other privatizations when it came in power early last year but relaunched it again in January as part of an international bailout agreed last summer.
The deadline for the expression of initial bids ends on March 21. Qualified investors can then submit their binding bids on April 26.
Russian Railways (RZD) and its Greek partner GEK-Terna Holdings, France's SNCF Participations and Romania's S.C. Grup Feroviar Roman had been shortlisted for TRAINOSE in 2013.
A senior Greek official told Reuters on Wednesday that RZD was considering bidding for TRAINOSE and that Monday's deadline could be extended to allow more investors to bid.
Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that China's Cosco was also expected to make an offer for the Greek asset after clinching a deal to buy the country's largest port, Piraeus Port.