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Northern Rock Bidder Drops Outor Not?

Displeased with the British government's conditions, investment fund Olivant withholds a rescue plan for the mortgage bank

Olivant yesterday embarked on a game of brinkmanship with the Government over Northern Rock, pulling out of the bidding race for the mortgage bank just hours before the deadline for takeover proposals to be filed.

The investment group said that the Treasury's conditions were so onerous that it could not make a bid stack up. Olivant, headed by the former Abbey National boss Luqman Arnold, failed to submit a proposal by yesterday's 4pm deadline, though it is understood that it would still come back to the bidding in certain circumstances.