Roadsure has topped a list of bidders to buy Manchester-based motorcycle specialist broker, Carole Nash, Insurance Times has learned.

It is understood that brokers are queuing up for the opportunity to buy the broker, which last year had a book worth £50m in premiums. Bennett's, the motorcycle broker owned by Budget, could also be a potential bidder, while Equity has also been mooted.

One source said: "Roadsure is very interested in expanding profitably and Carole Nash would be an ideal fit."

Roadsure managing director, Simon Jackson, said: "It is true we are looking for a good-sized acquisition, but we are speaking to all the City about potential options."

Carole Nash has denied an imminent sale, although one insider said: "A sale is quite likely."

The broker has appointed Ernst & Young to pursue possible sale options.

It was rumoured that Carole Nash, the founder of the broker, could stand to pocket up to £70m from the sale.

However, a spokesman for the company said this figure was "wide of the mark".

The spokesman confirmed it had appointed Ernst & Young to go over the broker's books in order to optimise growth opportunities, of which a sale is one option.

Bennett's and Equity would not comment.