New Zealand Rugby hopes to have a consortium in place to run the Highlanders within the next couple of months.
NZR have sold off part of the Chiefs, Blues, Crusaders and Chiefs franchises in recent years but the Highlanders have remained 100 percent in control of the NZRU.
The Highlanders were held back as they sorted out a number of issues, including financial, to get into more viable situation.
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says they have an active negotiation with a consortium and they hope to have something annouced before the World Cup in September.
Tew says they are well advanced with one consortium and they hope to have something in place by 2016.
He says the Highlanders along with Otago and Southland rugby have worked hard to get into better shape and they feel now is a good time to do it and they're in negotiations.
Tew says they are also close to confirming venues and dates for the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.