LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) – Credit rating agency Fitch has pulled out of the bidding for financial media and data firm Acuris leaving rival Moody’s as one of the strongest contenders to win the more than $1.30 billion deal, sources told Reuters.

Private equity owner BC Partners has shortlisted a handful of industry bidders to make binding bids for the London-based company which owns the Mergermarket and Debtwire brands, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Moody’s has made it through to the second round of an auction process after failing to buy Acuris in 2013 when the business, a former subsidiary of the Financial Times Group, was sold by Pearson to BC Partners for roughly 380 million pounds ($493.96 million).

The U.S. ratings agency