National Financial Partners (NYSE:NFP) said in a statement on Wednesday it is looking into a sale after private equity firms expressed interest in the brokerage services company.
Shares of NFP soared on the news, trading 12.7% higher at $22.60 a share. The stock was up as much as 17% to surpass its IPO price.
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The company, which is valued at more than $900 million, said its board has formed a committee of independent directors to explore the possibility of a sale.
NFP’s statement merely described private equity firms as giving “indications of interest” and did not disclose the names of the firms. Reuters reported on Tuesday that NFP had reached out to private equity firms about a potential deal and was working with Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).
“The company cannot predict whether it will enter into a transaction and does not intend to comment further at this time,” NFP said in the statement.
NFP has recently turned its attention to making acquisitions. At the end of last year, NFP took over the management company of Corporate Benefits Advisors Inc., before buying the management company of Corporate Benefits Inc. in January.
The announcement of a potential sale comes after longtime NFP chairman and chief executive Jessica Bibliowicz said she is stepping down as CEO. Chief operating officer Douglas Hammond will take over as CEO, while Bibliowicz will remain chairman.
NFP reported last month a 73% surge in fourth-quarter earnings on higher revenue. The prior-year period was weighed down by impairment charges.