Gleacher is weighing a combination with a broker-dealer such as Stifel or a sale to a private-equity investor, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. Gleacher may decide which route to pursue within the next few days, they said.
The shares have traded at less than $1 for more than five months as the firm, run by Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hughes, dealt with employee defections and writedowns on the value of goodwill. Gleacher disclosed its strategic review in August, after Bloomberg News reported that the firm began exploring options amid pressure from top shareholder MatlinPatterson Global Advisers LLC.
Gleacher, formerly known as First Albany Cos., is working with Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) on finding a possible buyer, people with knowledge of the matter said in August. The company currently has a market value of about $86 million.
The company’s stock, which traded as high as $1.82 in February, rose as much as 10 cents a share to 79 cents before falling to 68.5 cents at 4:30 p.m. in New York.
The firm’s origins date back to First Albany, a regional brokerage founded in 1953 in New York State’s capital city. The firm eventually became Gleacher & Co. in 2010, following the acquisition of an advisory boutique run by Eric Gleacher, a mergers and acquisitions banker who founded Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s M&A department in 1978.
MatlinPatterson owns a 28 percent stake of the firm, while Eric Gleacher has 12 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.