Five companies are said to have made preliminary bids for a stake in Asiana Airlines.
Market sources say the leading bids for a 31-percent stake in Korea's second largest carrier come from cosmetics firm Aekyung, stock brokerage company Mirae Asset Daewoo and activist fund Korea Corporate Governance Improvement.
Aekyung is the only one out of those three with experience in the airline business, owning Korean budget carrier Jeju Air.
Industry observers estimate the price of the deal to be roughly 1.6 billion dollars.
The airline's number one shareholder, Kumho Industrial, plans to complete the sale by the end of this year.