New Zealand's Morrison quits race for Stansted airport: report

LONDON Tue Jan 8, 2013 7:29pm EST

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LONDON (Reuters) - A consortium led by New Zealand investment manager Morrison & Co has pulled out of the running for London's Stansted Airport after failing to secure bank financing for its offer, Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

Its withdrawal ahead of the January 16 deadline for final offers has left just two bidders in the running: Manchester Airports Group (MAG) and Macquarie, the newspaper said.

The Daily Telegraph said that the Morrison consortium included New Zealand funds Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, as well as Australia's Retail Employees Superannuation Trust.

The consortium's banks had balked at the potential risks of funding a bid for a regulated airport that is largely reliant on low-cost Irish carrier Ryanair (RYA.I), which is responsible for 70 percent of Stansted's traffic, the paper said.

Ferrovial (FER.MC) - operator of Europe's biggest airport, Heathrow - which is selling Stansted, and Morrison were not immediately available to comment.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh, additional reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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