AAP is reporting that News Ltd has one month to sell or close its local paper in Fiji, according to the interim government.
The deadline for parties interested in purchasing the Fiji Times closed on Thursday, three months after self-appointed Prime Minister Commodore Frank Bainimarama decreed that the newspaper - owned by Rupert Murdoch's Australian arm - must be 90 per cent locally owned.
"I know that there are several local companies that have expressed an interest in the purchase," Fiji's permanent secretary for information, Sharon Smith-Johns, said today.
"It should be local investment in newspapers and it should be local ownership," the Australian-born spokeswoman for the government said.
"Having local-owned media is better for the country because the publishers tend to have a much greater understanding of the issues in Fiji."
News Ltd recruited PriceWaterhouseCoopers to handle the sale.
"Whilst I cannot give any details I can say that the sale process is proceeding with interested parties," PWC senior partner Jenny Seeto told the Fiji Times.
"PricewaterhouseCoopers will now evaluate the offers and any additional information about the business that is required will be provided to interested parties."
Ms Seeto said progress was being made, but she wasn't sure how long it would take to seal the deal.
"News Ltd is committed to quickly concluding a sale with one of the interested parties," she said.
The paper's publisher, Anne Fussell, was not making any comment about the sale and attempts to contact News Ltd were unsuccessful.
Bainimarama, who is also the nation's military leader, has been tightening controls on the media since he overthrew the elected government in a bloodless coup in 2006.
Last year, he sent censors into newsrooms to prevent "negative" stories being reported after sacking the judiciary and voiding the constitution.
Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith condemned the decree as an assault on freedom of speech and said it would deter investment in Fiji.