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Capita edges rival Serco in 10-year UK defence contract race

LONDON, March 10 (Reuters) - British outsourcer Capita was named as the preferred bidder for a 10-year contract to manage the government's 21 billion pound ($35 billion) military estate, gaining an edge over rival Serco to the post.

The move comes as a blow to embattled rival Serco, which had hoped to win the contract to help ease fears over the state of its relationship with the British government following a series of high profile contact failures such as the tagging of criminals.

The Ministry of Defence awarded the 400 million pound contract to a consortium, led by Capita, to work on overhauling the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) which accounts for 1 percent of the country's land mass.