Investment group Olivant, London, has dropped plans for a proposal related to the liquidity-strapped United Kingdom lender Northern Rock, Newcastle upon Tyne, apparently leaving investors led by the Virgin Group, London, as the most likely to end up partnering with the company. Olivant said Monday it has "decided not to submit a further proposal in relation to the stabilization, recapitalization and repositioning of Northern Rock," citing an inability to find a middle ground that would create value for its shareholders as well as meet the needs of the other parties involved. Northern Rock has been supported by government funds during the U.S. mortgage woe-sparked liquidity crisis and there have been questions about whether it will be able to remain a private company.

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