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Firm withdraws bid to run Va port operations

RICHMOND, Va. -- One of the companies vying to operate some of the Virginia's port terminals has dropped out of the competition.

State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that Carlyle Group has withdrawn its proposal

Media outlets report that the firm told officials it's no longer interested in pursuing a long-term lease of the Virginia Port Authority's terminals.

That leaves three groups in the running: APM Terminals Inc., RREEF America LLC and the current operator, Virginia International Terminals Inc.

State officials are reviewing the proposals to privatize some of the port's operations. Officials say the review process could be concluded by next May.

The Port of Virginia is the third-largest port on the East Coast.