Pacific Dunlop Ltd is remaining tight-lipped on reports that a member of one of the syndicates bidding for its Pacific Brands clothing and footwear division has dropped out of the running.

The private investment group Pacific Equity Partners is reported to have withdrawn from a consortium that includes CVC Capital Partners and Catalyst Investment Mangers.

A spokesman for PacDun said that company policy prohibts commenting on media speculation, while Equity Partners has also declined to comment.

Earlier this month, PacDun chaiman John Ralph told shareholders that bids made for Pacific Brands were being evaluated, with a decision to be made shortly on whether to follow up on any specific offer. At the time, three consortia had made offers.

Initial estimates for the value of the business were around A$900 million (US$458.01m). Analysts are now quoting a figure closer to A$700m (US$356.23m).