The successful bidder for Quinn Insurance will be announced within the next two weeks, the Irish Independent has learnt.
The bidders include a joint venture between Anglo Irish Bank and US insurance giant Liberty.
Other companies understood to be running the rule over the insurance business include Swiss firm Zurich and Germany's Allianz; but they are only interested in Quinn customers and not the outstanding claims.
Banking sources confirmed yesterday that the Insurance Compensation Fund, which could be used to plug deficits at the group as part of a break-up, is not part of the ongoing sale negotiations.
"There will be no front-loading of the fund," the source confirmed.
However, the fund, which was last used after the collapse of PMPA in the 1980s, could be used in the future to boost the insurance firm's finances.
The fund holds about €30m but could be built up with an additional 2pc levy on taxpayers' premiums.
It is controlled by the president of the High Court, who appoints an accountant to supervise it.
It is understood a commitment of up to €400m could be needed to plug the hole in Quinn's balance sheet.
The firm is being sold off by Australian bank Macquarie through administrator Grant Thornton.
It is also possible that a break-up of the group could involve a stripping out of the outstanding claims, which would be put into a separate vehicle.