One of the suitors that was hoping to take over breakdown business AA has withdrawn from the race three weeks after a deadline for bids was extended.
Platinum Equity said that it had walked away from discussions with AA’s board “by mutual agreement.”
It follows months of speculation over the future of the business after it announced talks with three potential bidders in early August.
However, finding a buyer from the trio proved harder than first hoped, and earlier this month a deadline set by the UK’s Takeover Panel passed without any bids arriving.
It forced AA to ask for an extension, with the new deadline set at September 29.
In a statement on Tuesday, Platinum said: “Platinum Equity announces today that discussions with the board of AA have been terminated by mutual agreement and it does not intend to make an offer for AA.”
But the US investor reserved its right to make or participate in a possible offer for AA within six months. However, this will be only with the agreement of the AA’s board and if a rival bid is made.
Platinum’s withdrawal potentially leaves only one consortium left in the race.
Late last month reports emerged that rival bidder Warburg Pincus was talking to Centerbridge Partners and Towerbrook Capital Partners about combining forces rather than making competing bids for AA.
Last month AA said that its trading has been resilient during the pandemic and it expects only a small hit when it presents its results on September 29.
Chairman John Leach said the businesses needed to pay down debts in order reach its “full potential”. He hopes that a private equity deal could help.