Distress specialist bidders are understood to have exited the battle to buy struggling electrical firm Comet.
Vulture bidders, including Hilco, are understood to have dropped out of the process according to The Sunday Telegraph, as three bidders have been taken through to the second round by Comet-owner Kesa.
The three, which the newspaper reports includes private equity group OpCapita, all want to run the business as a going concern.
It is believed that Kesa will flag a dowry, which could be as much as £100m. Bidders for the retailer could be forced to take on a £49m pension deficit in order to buy the retailer. Alternatively, if a dowry is not offered to cover that deficit and other potential losses, Kesa could keep the deficit on its own balance sheet.