Two American investors are going head to head in a bid to save the Sunday Business Post newspaper in Ireland.
Dublin’s High Court has granted the examiner an extra week to do a deal with the unnamed bidders from the States.
An all-Irish consortium, fronted by former Daily Star chief executive Paul Cooke, is also in the frame.
The paper went into examinership after the collapse of the parent Cork Examiner group earlier this year.
The Irish Examiner was rescued by a new company but the Business Post wasn’t part of the deal.
Examiner Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton missed a High Court deadline to secure a corporate rescuer on Friday.
The High Court has given McAteer another week to finalise a deal for the paper which will publish as normal on Sunday.
Lawyers for the examiner had told the court that the deadline had ‘proved incapable of being met’.
But McAteer said in an affidavit that three bidders are still actively in discussion that could lead to an offer.
He said: “I am confident that I will achieve agreement with one of the three consortia.”
One of the three bidders has already lodged ‘significant investment monies’ with an Irish law firm as a demonstration of serious intent said McAteer.
Businessman Frank Cronin, a former chief executive of radio station Newstalk and the ‘Sunday Tribune’ newspaper, is leading the American backed group thought to be the frontrunner to buy the ‘Business Post’ according to the Irish Independent.
The paper says Cronin’s bid is backed by private investors based in the US.
A second US Irish bid is also still possible, the court was told but the report says it is not as far advanced.
Post Publication, which owns the Sunday newspaper, has protection from creditors until June 13 but Justice Kelly had made the continuing examinership conditional on a bid for the business being made this week.
The report confirms that a cost-saving plan has been agreed by staff at the newspaper and its landlord, and other parties affected, in order to make the business more attractive.