JPIMedia, which owns regional newspaper titles including The Scotsman, Yorkshire Post and Sunderland Echo, could be snapped up by former tabloid editor David Montgomery, it has been reported.
According to the Telegraph, Montgomery, who once edited News of the World and was previously chief executive of Mirror Group, is in talks to buy the 200 title-strong publisher via his investment group National World.
Formerly known as Johnston Press, the newspaper business was renamed JPI last year when it fell into administration and was taken over by its bondholders, including New York group GoldenTree Asset Management. JPI has been seeking a new owner since.
The UK's largest regional news publishers, Reach and Newsquest, were formerly in talks to buy JPI but are reported to have pulled out.
"The company confirms it is contemplating several acquisitions and has approached JPI following speculation that the sale process for the regional titles had not completed," National World said in a statement to the Telegraph.
"There is no certainty that any transaction will proceed. A further announcement will be made as appropriate in due course."