ADMINSTRATORS of Sir Chay Blyth's Challenge Business have received five serious offers for the business and are today optimistic it will be sold as a going concern.

However, the 18-strong fleet of 67ft and 72ft yachts now looks certain to be broken up after no acceptable offer for the entire lot was received.

Some yachts are proving unattractive to investors, such as round the world yachtswoman Dee Caffari's boat Aviva, which has been specially converted to be sailed single-handed.

The Southampton-based yacht race business has attracted interest from wealthy individuals as well as yachting firms from the UK and abroad, attracted by the prestigious Global Challenge name.

The news will come as a boost to the business' 12 remaining staff who have been fearing for their own futures. The company fell into administration due to cash flow problems in October.

Challenge Business first hit stormy financial waters as far back as 2004, when results filed with Companies House showed a loss of £620,663.

The high profile races, which saw inexperienced seafarers race around the world with veteran captains at the helm, were beleaguered by cash flow problems and failed to find a big money sponsor.

Administrator Nigel Morrison of business advisors Grant Thornton, said: "We have received five offers for the business, which constitutes the majority of the yachts and the rights to use the name and the brand. We are in the process of evaluating those offers.

"We have not received an acceptable offer for the entire fleet. There are a few boats that don't form an attractive offer for people, such as Aviva. The offers are from a range of people - individuals and groups of people involved in the marine yachting world. We received an offer from an overseas company in the marine industry.

"The sort of people we are dealing with are very, very serious and so are some of the offers. In the next few days we will receive the sort of funding proof we are looking for. I'm cautiously optimistic it will be sold as a going concern."