The examiner for Post Publications – which owns the Sunday Business Post – has told the High Court he is at a “critical stage” of negotiations with three parties interested in investing in the company.

Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton was granted a further extension to the examinership process today, following the implementation of a cost-cutting programme at the company.

Mr McAteer told the court that he was in ongoing talks with three separate companies, though none had yet signed an investment agreement.

One company is described as an Irish/US consortium which “combines financial strength... with Irish media experience”.

Mr McAteer said its “US-based principal” was due to travel to Dublin for meetings today, however has been delayed and will instead engage in talks on Tuesday.

The second interested party was also identified as an Irish/US consortium, which Mr McAteer said has come late in the process and has been conducting due diligence over the past week.

He said significant advances have been made in resolving outstanding issues with this consortium, and he expected any remaining issues to be resolved by Wednesday 5 June.

The third party was described by Mr McAteer as a consortium “backed by an Irish finance house that is combined with an individual with experience of the Irish print media”.

The examiner had already been granted an extension to the examinership process in mid-May, on the basis that cost-savings would be agreed and an investment agreement secured.

Mr McAteer told the High Court that the cost savings had been achieved, with nine redundancies agreed as part of this.

He said while he could not guarantee the outcome of the current talks, he was confident that an agreement could be reached with an interested party to ensure the company’s survival.

Mr McAteer told the court he believed he could secure such a deal by Friday 7 June, with a view to reporting the result to the High Court a week later.