Australia's third-largest company Dairy Farmers has reportedly closed the first round of bidding in the A$920m (US$839.2m) sale of the business.

Domestic and international groups, including co-operative Murray Goulburn and Italian dairy giant Parmalat, have been reported to be interested in Dairy Farmers, which will now seek second and final offers for the company.

According to a Reuters report, Kirin's Australian arm National Foods is also among the suitors looking to buy the dairy firm. 

In February, Kazuyasu Kato, president of Japanese food and beverage group Kirin, said he considered Dairy Farmers a sound strategic fit for National Foods.

The Japanese brewery paid A$2bn for National Foods, Australia's largest dairy and juice maker, last November.