UK may still outsource weapons buying after CH2M Hill pulls out


LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Britain said it would continueexploring plans to put its 159 billion pound ($256 billion)military equipment buying programme in the hands of a privatefirm, even after one of the two consortia left in the runningpulled out.

U.S. engineer firm, CH2M Hill, which was leading a team withSerco and Atkins said on Tuesday it hadwithdrawn from the bidding to run Britain's Defence Equipmentand Support (DE&S) unit, in a team with Serco and Atkins.

"The Department, with the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury,will now study the detailed proposal received from MaterielAcquisition Partners (led by Bechtel with PA and PwC insupport)," Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said in a statement.

"This analysis will inform a decision on whether it is inthe public interest to proceed with only a single commercialbidder and an internal option, or whether alternative approachesshould be considered and a further statement will be made oncethis process is complete."

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