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Hochtief pulls out of Gatwick bidding

German construction company Hochtief has pulled out of the £2billion auction for Gatwick Airport, leaving five bidders to enter a second round.

Analysts believe bids for Britain’s second biggest airport could be up to £2bn, although this figure is now being questioned in the current economic climate, and a figure of nearing the £1.7bn mark would be more realistic.A source close to the process told the Daily Mail: “It wasn’t a question of valuation, but the deliverability of the proposal.”

Gatwick’s Spanish owner Ferrovial put the hub up for sale late last year. First round bids for Gatwick were due in last week.

Two of the bidders are thought to be Manchester Airports Group, and 3i’s infrastructure arm, in partnership with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Canada Pension Plan.

Three other groups have expressed interest - London City Airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners; the infrastructure funds of Deutsche Bank and Babcock & Brown; and a consortium of Citigroup Infrastructure, Vancouver Airport, and John Hancock Life Insurance Company.