German insurer's withdrawal leaves the way clear for a Henderson takeover worth about £1bn

Allianz has withdrawn its bid for John Laing, effectively handing victory to fund manager Henderson.

The German insurer’s retreat follows the news yesterday that the board of Laing had recommended Henderson’s 405p per share bid from last week.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange Allianz said that it did not intend to increase its offer for Laing.

Thomas Putter, director of Allianz Infrastructure Holdings, said: "We believe that our offers fully reflect the value inherent in the business and we cannot justify an increase in our offers to our investors. The management of Laing have given us their full co-operation throughout this process and we wish them well for the future.”

However Allianz hinted it would be looking for other acquisitions in the infrastructure industry as it wanted to “build a meaningful presence in this sector.”

The withdrawal means that, failing the entry of another suitor, Henderson has won the two month battle for Laing with an offer that values the PFI specialist at about £1bn.

Henderson made the first move on Laing with a 355p per share bid in September. Allianz trumped that with a 385p per share bid last month.