SKANSKA and Capita Symonds have been dropped from the contract to revamp the Ministry of Defence's London estate, worth over £100 million.
Work will involve building new sites for the MoD and selling those made redundant by the MoDEL programme.
Those that have made it are Amec, Kier, LS Trillium, RWE Thames Water and Vinci.
The list will be trimmed further before a winner is announced.
Rivals were shocked by Skanska's failure.
One said: 'I was very surprised it didn't get through. Skanska did the MoD's Whitehall refurbishment after all.'
A winner will be announced next summer, with construction starting later that year. It will finish in 2010.