The 93-year-old Perelman says he hopes to protect the integrity of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News by keeping them in local hands.
The creditors are led by hedge funds and banks trying to recoup some of their investment. The group includes Angelo Gordon, which owns stakes in newspapers in Chicago, Los Angeles and other U.S. cities.
The two parties are the only players to submit minimum $50 million bids by Wednesday's deadline. The auction is set to start Thursday morning.
Creditors won an earlier auction for $139 million, but failed to close over a contract dispute with unionized drivers.