The New Zealand Rugby Union has confirmed five expressions of interest have been received for licences to manage and operate a New Zealand-based Super Rugby team.
Expressions of interest were invited for four of the five Super Rugby Franchises - Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Crusaders. The Highlanders were already investigating their own buyers.
At least one proposal has been received for each franchise. It's expected the bids are coming from the unions who already hold franchisee licenses.
NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew says they are heartened by the interest shown and believes it reflects the attractiveness of the franchises as a commercial proposition.
Tew says they will now assess the merits of each proposal over the next month with the aim of shortlisting potential licence holders who will then be asked to make a formal offer.
He says the aim is to have any new licence-holder in place for the 2013 Investec Super Rugby season.