THE board of Elders Ltd is running the ruler over offers made to buy its best remaining business, Elders Rural Services.Indicative offers closed for the company today.
An Elders spokeswoman said no public comment would be made on the sale process.
"We are conducting the sales process in an environment of strict mutual confidentiality,'' the spokeswoman said.
"When we have something to disclose we will be making an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange.''
Elders has previously said more than 30 companies had shown an interest in buying Elders' rural services division.
Despite the parent company recording a $60 million loss in the past financial year, rural services remains the jewel in the crown with a $29.5 million profit.
Chief executive Malcolm Jackman told the company's annual meeting late last year the interested companies were split between Australia and overseas.
He said there was a similar split in interest between trade players and investment and private equity firms.
"I am not surprised at the level of interest - this is an iconic brand that has been in existence since 1839,'' he said.
"We have a penetration in the bush that is unrivalled.''
Elders foray into forestry was the key reason for the company's financial woes, according to chairman John Ballard.
"It was a lousy industry we should never have been in,'' Mr Ballard has said.
Financial analysts said Ruralco was still among the bidders for Elders.
Ruralco bought a 12.04 per cent stake in Elders last year after making a pitch for its rival.
After being rebuffed, chairman Robert England told shareholders the company would only pursue Elders if it were "clearly value-accretive to Ruralco shareholders''.
Private equity firm The Carlyle Group is also said to be among suitors although Wesfarmers, thought to be among the early favourites, is believed to have dropped out.
Interested companies were not revealing details of any offers today.