Speculation is increasing that the auction for Britain's Daily Telegraph group of newspapers may be in its final stages.

According to the Financial Times the Hollinger International board is scheduled to meet later today to discuss offers for the group.

Only four groups appear to be left in the running for the titles.

On the media side are the Daily Mail & General Trust and the Barclay brothers, the publishing to leisure entrepreneurs.

Venture capitalists Apax and Candover have made a joint proposal and 3i has made a separate offer.

The report quotes one bidder as saying: "The prices to move ahead are north of £600 million ($1billion; €901m) and anyone below that is out of the process."

If the sale went ahead it would signal a new stage in the acrimonious and long running legal battle between former Hollinger chairman and chief executive, Lord Conrad Black, and the Hollinger directors who forced his removal last year for alleged financial irregularities.

Some observers are more sceptical. They believe Black might to try stop the sale.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff